About this Reading Room
Located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, the Asian Reading Room is where the public and scholars alike may freely access more than 4 million physical items that make up the Asian collections housed at the Library of Congress. These materials encompass approximately 200 languages and dialects from across Asia, including Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu, Vietnamese, and many others. In the Asian Reading Room, users can browse an encyclopedic, multilingual reference collection while making use of the vast and diverse collections of printed materials, rare books, and microform kept onsite and stored in remote facilities. Users will be greeted by knowledgeable and friendly reference librarians ready to assist with their research questions and general learning about the countries and peoples of East, South, and Southeast Asia while also directing them to Asian materials in other parts of the Library. The Asian Division serves users who wish to access the Asian American Pacific Islander collection as well.
Hundreds of Asian studies subscription databases and in-copyright digitized resources can only be accessed in the Asian Reading Room and on the Library of Congress campus. For those users not able to visit in-person, this Asian Reading Room website serves as a resource to explore the Asian Division's growing digital collections, curated web archives and freely available online resources on Asian studies. Research guides prepared by specialists with expertise in many Asian languages as well as humanities and social science fields will aid users as they navigate the rich and diverse Asian collections.