January 22, 1996 Great Hall of the Library of Congress Open to Public on Limited Basis; Additional Tours Scheduled; Tickets Required

Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

The Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress is now open to the public on a limited basis.

To view the Great Hall, the general public should use the west front door of the Jefferson Building, which is open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday. All Library buildings are closed on Sunday.

Guided tours of the building will be offered at 11:30 a.m., and 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m. Free, same-day tickets for the tours will be distributed at the Information Desk on the first floor of the Jefferson Building. Tours will be limited to 50 people.

For safety and security reasons unescorted access to the second level of the Great Hall and the Visitors' Gallery overlooking the Main Reading Room is not possible. Visitors who do not wish to take a guided tour may still, however, enter the Great Hall and view it from the first floor central hall area.

Reservations for group tours may be made by calling the Visitor Services Office at (202) 707-9779.

The Jefferson Building has been under phased renovation since 1986 and is scheduled to open completely to the public in the spring of 1997 on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. The renovated Main Reading Room has been open for research since 1991, and researchers who wish to use the Library's collections should continue to enter the Jefferson Building at the northeast door on Second Street S.E.

The Library of Congress will celebrate the centennial of the opening of the Jefferson Building -- often called the most beautiful public building in America -- in 1997 with a series of free public events. These will include a special exhibition of treasures drawn from the Library's comprehensive collections, funded by the Xerox Corporation, and an open house for the community.


PR 96-005
ISSN 0731-3527