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Local History and Genealogy Reading Room (Researcher and Reference Services Division)

Notice: Appointments are optional, but encouraged. To help us better serve you, request a research appointment to ensure collection material is accessible during your visit at the Library. The Library of Congress asks all visitors to follow our COVID-19 health screening protocols, which are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Office of the Attending Physician of the U.S. Capitol. For additional instructions, see the Researcher Scheduling page.

Tours and Research Orientations
Learn about using the Library.
Before You Begin
Reading room policies and preparing for your research.
Helpful forms for recording research findings: Family Group Sheet (PDF 206KB) and Research Log (PDF 105KB)
The Collections
What genealogical materials are available on site
Internet Subscription Services
Genealogy databases available at the Library of Congress.
Searching Tips
For locating genealogical materials in the Library's online catalog.
Acquiring Published Genealogies
How to submit materials to the Library as a gift, for purchase, and for copyright.
Bibliographies and Guides
Compiled by reference librarians.
Digital Collections
Digitized materials on U.S. history from the Library of Congress collections. Includes first-person accounts of 19th-century California, the Upper Midwest from 1820 to 1910, the Chesapeake Bay area from 1600 to 1925, and other resources for genealogy research.
Image: see caption below

Currier & Ives. Family photograph tree. 1871. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.

101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Building
LJ 100
Washington, D.C. 20540-4660
Tel: (202) 707-3399
Contact Information
Map showing location

8:30am - 8:30pm
Friday, Saturday:
8:30am - 5:00pm
Closed Sunday &
Federal Holidays

Ask a Librarian
Want to ask the reference staff a question about the local history and genealogy collections?

Search the Library's Catalog

Free Wireless Access Available in the Main Reading Room

  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  November 20, 2023
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