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Reference Assistance and Contact Information

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Library of Congress Reference Correspondence Policy

The primary mission of the Library of Congress is to serve Members of the Congress and thereafter, the needs of the government, other libraries, and members of the public, universities, and learned societies.

The Library of Congress encourages correspondents to use local library resources first. Public, state, academic, and special libraries are often able to respond more quickly and thoroughly than we and are better able to identify and respond to specific and ongoing research needs. Local reference librarians often rely on state and regional library networks to supplement their resources and on the Library of Congress for questions requiring access to our collections.

Once correspondents have exhausted local and regional resources, they may seek assistance from the Library of Congress. Our staff will respond to their reference and information needs to the extent possible. Please note that the scope of our services does not include: 1) compilation of bibliographies; 2) response to requests for information connected with school assignments, debates, and contests; and 3) research in heraldry or family history.

The Science, Technology & Business Division will provide a reasonable amount of basic information about materials in the collections of the Library relating to the sciences, technology, business, and economics; and will serve as the library of last resort for other questions relating to these subjects when local resources have been exhausted. Please indicate resources already consulted when requesting information about a wide-ranging subject.

The Library of Congress Photoduplication Service will not reproduce copyrighted material without written permission from the current copyright claimant. Securing such permission is the patron's responsibility. (see Copyright Office for more information)

Please note: All of the following types of requests are treated equally.


Science, Technology & Business Division
Business Reference Services
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4754

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  July 28, 2011
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