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A Guide to Finding Business Information at the Library of Congress

I. Welcome to the Library: Locations and Procedures

Most of the reference sources described in this guide are located in the Business Reading Room, fifth floor, John Adams Building. Some of the general sources may also be found in the Main Reading Room, 1st floor, Thomas Jefferson Building.

Many useful business reference sources, particularly statistical ones, are U.S. government publications. A majority of those published since 1976 are available in the Newspaper and Current Periodicals Reading Room, LM 133, James Madison Building. This room also houses the Library's set of United Nations documents (useful for international trade, production, and national account statistics), all Roman alphabet newspapers, and the most recent twelve to eighteen months of all nonlegal periodicals received by the Library.

Earlier volumes of periodicals are likely to be bound and housed, according to their call numbers, in the closed stacks of the Adams or Jefferson buildings. Some periodicals are not held in hard copy but are retained in microform editions instead. The Microform Reading Room is presently located in the Jefferson Building but is scheduled to move to the Adams Building in the near future.

To request bound volumes of periodicals, readers must obtain the call number for each title from any of several available sources such as Commonly Used Periodicals; the looseleaf set Bound Periodicals Available in the John Adams Building; the online catalog; or the older card catalog adjacent to the Business Reading Room. Titles which are not found in any of the above-mentioned sources should be brought to the attention of a reference librarian for further searching.

Book searches may be conducted by using the Library's online catalog. When doing subject searches in the online catalog, researchers should consult the multi-volume Library of Congress Subject Headings to ensure the use of proper subject headings.

Most of the sources listed in this guide are issued periodically, and their frequency is cited with the bibliographic data. Periodicals such as directories, almanacs, yearbooks, etc. may change their titles over time, and the Library of Congress cataloging record may reflect the date of that change rather than the date from which the Library's holdings originate. Or, the record may reflect a copyright date rather that the first actual date of publication. To avoid possible confusion about the Library's holdings, the periodical entries in this guide do not list dates at the end of the citation. Researchers may assume that the Business Reading Room holds the Library's most recent edition of a given title. To determine what retrospective issues the Library has, it is best to consult a reference librarian.

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  November 9, 2010
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