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Research Center Manuscript Reading Room

Using the Reading Room

While the Manuscript Division does not require appointments, researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the division prior to visiting. Collections may be stored offsite or have access restrictions and advance notice is required for research use.

The Manuscript Reading Room provides desks, paper, pencils, overhead scanners and copying machines, and access to computer terminals and microfilm scanners and readers. Most desks have electrical ports. Researchers must supply their own USBs.   

With staff approval, researchers may bring loose sheets of paper, computers, and photographic equipment into the Manuscript Reading Room. Some personal items, such as bags, notepads, and books, are prohibited. Free lockers are provided to secure personal property. See Manuscript Reading Room Rules and Regulations for more information. You may also find the video tutorial "Research in the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress" helpful.

SECURITY: All visitors must navigate “airport-like” security to enter the Library of Congress. We encourage you to limit the number of personal belongings and bags you bring into our facilities as they will be subject to a thorough search. Free lockers are provided in the Manuscript Reading Room to secure personal property. Locker keys must be returned at the end of the day. All material that a reader wishes to remove from the reading room must be examined by the security officer or reading room staff.


Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave, SE
James Madison Building, LM 101
Washington, DC 20540-4810
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Public Hours
Monday through Saturday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays & Federal Holidays

Reader Registration (Rm. LM 133)
Monday through Saturday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.