African & Middle
The African & Middle Eastern Division Reading Room provides
reference and bibliographic services covering more than 70 countries
and regions, from South Africa to Morocco to the Central Asian
republics of the former Soviet Union. In most cases, materials
written in the vernacular languages of these areas must be accessed
through the African & Middle Eastern Division reading room.
The Folklife Reading Room of the American Folklife Center is the
access point for researchers interested in folklife. The ethnographic
collections of the Archive of Folk Culture, part of the American
Folklife Center, are international in scope and include over one
million photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings, and moving
The Asian Division Reading Room serves as the gateway to material
in all languages of Asia, about Asian American Studies, the Asian
Diaspora, and the Pacific Islands. In most cases, materials written
in Asian languages must be accessed through the Asian Division
Business Reference Services is the starting point for conducting
research in all major business subjects including industry information,
commerce, statistics, banking, insurance, economics, finance,
investment, and marketing. Reference specialists assist in formulating
research search strategies and in gaining access to the information
and materials contained in the Library's collections.
The Children's Literature Center provides reference services to
individuals and organizations concerned with young people. It
organizes programs, exhibitions, and issues publications.
The European Division Reading Room is the primary public access
point for researchers seeking to use the vast collections of the
Library of Congress relating to European countries, including
the Russian-speaking areas of Asia. Researchers interested in
Spain and Portugal should contact the Hispanic Division reading
room; those interested in the United Kingdom and Ireland should
consult reference librarians in the Main Reading Room. The European
Division Reading Room has custody of current, unbound Slavic and
Baltic periodicals and has available recent issues of Western
European newspapers and periodicals and collections of pamphlets
and "grey literature."
In the Geography and Map Division Reading Room, researchers can
access the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection
in the world, including more than 4.5 million maps and 60,000
atlases as well as a large number of cartographic materials in
The Hispanic Division Reading Room serves as the primary access
point for research relating to those parts of the world encompassing
the geographical areas of the Caribbean, Latin America, and Iberia;
the indigenous cultures of those areas; and peoples throughout
the world historically influenced by Luso-Hispanic heritage. Luso-Hispanic,
Iberian, and Caribbean materials can be accessed through the Hispanic
Division or through the Main Reading Room.
The mission of the Law Library is to provide research and legal
information to the U.S. Congress, U.S. Federal Courts and Executive
Agencies, and to offer reference services to the public. It contains
the world's largest collection of law books and other resources
from all countries and provides digitized information with online
databases and guides to legal information worldwide.
& Genealogy LJG42
The Local History & Genealogy Reading Room serves one of the
world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and
local historical publications. The Library's genealogical collection
began as early as 1815 when Thomas Jefferson's library was acquired.
Main Reading Room:
Humanities and Social Science LJ100
The historic Main Reading Room is, through its catalogs, the primary
entrance into the Library's research collections and the principal
reading room for work in the social sciences and humanities.
The Manuscript Division Reading Room provides access to more than
fifty million items in eleven thousand separate collections. It
includes some of the greatest manuscript treasures of American
history and culture and supports scholarly research in many aspects
of political, cultural, and scientific history.
The Microform Reading Room has custody of and provides access
to the general microform collection of the Library of Congress.
Other specialized reading rooms, such as Law and Manuscript or
Area Studies reading rooms, also contain large microform collections.
Motion Picture &
The Motion Picture and Television Reading Room provides access
and information services for the motion picture and television
collections to an international community of film and television
professionals, archivists, scholars, and researchers.
Newspaper & Current
The Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room provides public
service to material in the Serial & Government Publications
Division: current & retrospective newspapers (U.S. and foreign),
current periodicals, and government documents (including U.S.
Federal Depository, United Nations, and European Union publications).
Collections include material published in all Western European
(Music, Theater, Dance) LM113
The collections available in the Performing Arts Reading Room
of the Music Division number close to eight million items. These
include classified music and book collections, music and literary
manuscripts, microforms, and copyright deposits. The Library of
Congress is unique among national libraries because it embraces
the complete range of music--newly commissioned and created works
are performed and the original manuscripts are placed in the collections
for the use of succeeding generations.
Prints & Photographs
The Prints and Photographs Reading Room provides public access
to more than 13.6 million images, including photographs, fine
and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and
Rare Book and
Special Collections LJ239
The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections
Reading Room include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills,
title pages, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance
Reference Center LM113
The Recorded Sound Reference Center is the public access place
for the Library's audio collections, which reflect the entire
history of sound technology, from wax cylinders, through LP's
and tape, to compact audio discs.
The Science and Technology Division's Reading Room is the public
access point for the Library's scientific and technical materials.
The reading room supports access to information in all areas of
science and technology. The exceptions are clinical medicine and
technical agriculture, the subject specialties of the National
Library of Medicine and the National Agricultural Library, respectively.