November 6, 2013 Main Reading Room Open House on Veterans Day

Press Contact: Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322
Public Contact: Visitor Services (202) 707-8000

Twice each year, the Library of Congress opens its magnificent Main Reading Room for a special open house to share information about how the public can access the Library’s resources year-round. The fall open house will take place on the federal Veterans Day holiday, Monday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Main Reading Room is located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. Photography is allowed; however, mono, bi, or tripods may not be used. Reference librarians will be on hand to demonstrate services, instruct on how to obtain a Reader Registration card and answer questions. No other reference services will be available and all other Library of Congress reading rooms and buildings will be closed. Visitors can join the conversation that day on Twitter using the tag #LCFall2013.

The Veterans History Project (VHP) of the Library will have staff available on the mezzanine level of the Thomas Jefferson Building near the exhibition “The Civil War in America” to talk with visitors about the VHP archive with its nearly 89,000 inspiring veterans' stories from WWI to the current conflicts. Staff will provide information about how visitors can record the stories of the veterans in their lives for the Veterans History Project. Learn more at

The Nicolay copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address will be on display in the Library’s Great Hall. The Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches in American history and recognized as a literary masterpiece. For more information, please see this announcement. Photography of the display will not be allowed.

“The Civil War in America” exhibition, housed in the Southwest Gallery on the second floor through Jan. 4, 2014, presents the Library’s unmatched Civil War collections. Items displayed chronicle the sacrifices and accomplishments of those — in both the North and South — whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861–1865.

The Prints and Photographs division will once again host a Flickr meet-up for photography enthusiasts. Images from either the Main Reading Room or the beautiful Great Hall that convey the theme of “Books and Reading” should be uploaded to Flickr with the tag #LCFall2013. Visitors may not use mono-, bi- or tripods.

The Library’s Young Readers Center, which is also in the Thomas Jefferson Building, will offer veteran-themed activities and displays beginning at 10:30 a.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to look through two displays centered on military families and participate in “Stars and Stripes” art activities. Young people, who must be accompanied by adults at all times, are encouraged to explore the Center’s library of current and classic books, which can be read onsite. Adults can also read aloud to their children from a selection of age-appropriate books by the nation’s best authors and illustrators. This collection of books is non-circulating.

The Jefferson Building will be open to the public between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Visitors may begin viewing the Gettysburg Address and taking photos elsewhere in the building at 8:30 a.m.

Unreserved guided tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building will be offered at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Each tour is limited to 40 people and designed to accommodate individuals and families, not large groups. More information about the Library, the exhibitions and tours is available at the orientation desks at or by calling (202) 707-8000.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at


PR 13-198
ISSN 0731-3527