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Main Reading Room (Researcher and Reference Services Division)
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Notice: As the Library of Congress gradually begins to reopen its Reading Rooms for research, we are putting safety first with new procedures and practices that protect everyone’s health. Confirmed appointments are required for entry into Library facilities, and everyone must follow the health and safety protocols established by the Library, in consultation with public health professionals. Most of these protocols are mandatory, regardless of vaccination status. Starting on June 28, 2021, the Main Reading Room will provide access by appointment only between the hours of 9:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday. To schedule an appointment, please submit a request via Ask a Librarian or call (202) 707-3399. For more information, see:

About the Main Reading Room
The Library's principal reference and book service point for the general collections.
Local History & Genealogy Reference Services
The Library has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications.
Main Reading Room Reference Collection
About the 56,000-volume general reference collection on the Main Reading Room's open shelves.
Microform and Electronic Resources Center (LJ-139, the former Computer Catalog Center)
The Library's principal service point for searching the online catalog, subscription databases, CD-ROMs, and the Internet.
Virtual Programs & Services
Ask questions about the Library’s digital collections; browse electronic guides and bibliographies to the Library’s digital resources; and view a variety of webinars and video conferences.

Learn the library's staff and material resources, the reader ID process, and experience all that the library has to offer. A transcript of the above video is available.

See how easy finding what you want can be by using subject headings and a helpful librarian. A transcript of the above video is available.
101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Bldg
Room LJ 100
Washington, D.C. 20540-4660
Telephone: (202) 707-3399
Contact Information
Map showing location

M/W/Th: 8:30am-9:30pm
Tu/F/S: 8:30am-5:00pm
Closed Sunday &
Federal Holidays

Ask a Librarian
Ask a LibrarianWant to ask the reference staff a question about the general collections?

Information for Researchers
Find out about research orientations, reader registration, online and card catalogs, how to request materials and other Library policies.

Bibliographies and Guides
Full text published guides for the Library's general collections. View our latest additions:

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  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  September 14, 2021
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