Readers in the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress, Photo by Carol Highsmith

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Our collections are the largest in the world and represent a wide variety of physical formats and languages. Library of Congress staff are able to help you identify and request materials in general and specialized reading rooms. Anyone 16 years or older can come in to use the Library (learn more about how to obtain a free Reader Identification Card). We invite you to explore our resources, both online and at the Library.

Video tutorial - Registering for your Reader Identification CardVideo Tutorials

Many resources can be found by searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog. To locate reading rooms and librarians who can help with your research, see the list of reference and research areas below. 

Ask a LibrarianEach reading room has a web page and introductory materials.General and specialized orientations are also available. And you can always ask a librarian by selecting the "question mark" icon on each reading room's home page or by selecting the reading room's icon below.


Books, pamphlets, journals, newspapers and other serial publications.

Humanities and Social Sciences - Ask a LibrarianMain Reading Room

Business - Ask a LibrarianBusiness

Law Library - Ask a LibrarianLaw Library

Newspaper & Current Periodical - Ask a LibrarianNewspaper & Current Periodical

Science and Technololgy - Ask a LibrarianScience & Technology


More than 470 languages are represented in the Library's global collections.

African & Middle Eastern - Ask a LibrarianAfrican & Middle Eastern

Asian - Ask a LibrarianAsian

European - Ask a LibrarianEuropean

Hispanic - Ask a LibrarianHispanic


Photographs, maps, music, sound, film, manuscripts, and other media.

American Folklife Center - Ask a LibrarianAmerican Folklife Center

Geography and Map - Ask a LibrarianGeography & Map

Manuscripts - Ask a LibrarianManuscript

Moving Image - Ask a LibrarianMoving Image

Performing Arts - Ask a LibrarianPerforming Arts

Prints and Photographs - Ask a LibrarianPrints & Photographs

Rare Book and Special Collections - Ask a LibrarianRare Book & Special Collections

Recorded Sound - Ask a LibrarianRecorded Sound

VHP - Ask a LibrarianVeterans History Project

If you still need help after consulting these pages, please contact us using Ask a Librarian, so we can help point you in the right direction!