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The Library of Congress in Washington, DC


The Library of Congress in Washington, DC

The Library of Congress at Night

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress (LOC) is one of the most beautiful institutes in Washington, DC. Containing more than 128 million books, manuscripts, films, photographs, sheet music and maps the LOC is the caretaker of our published history. The LOC is actually compromised of three buildings: The Thomas Jefferson Building, The John Adams Building and the James Madison Building.

The LOC was established in 1800 and originally housed in the US Capitol, but a fire in 1814 destroyed the library and prompted Thomas Jefferson to donate his personal book collection. Congress agreed to purchase Jefferson’s books in 1897 and a new LOC was erected.

If you are unable to make a visit to the LOC, their website offers virtual visitors interactive activities and lectures as well as an online shop where you can purchase books, calendars, games and toys.

The New Library of Congress Experience

The “Library of Congress Experience”, a mix of ongoing exhibits and interactive kiosks, begins April 12, 2008. The LOC’s goal is to offer visitors a richer experience by bringing our nation’s historical treasures to life through interactive technology. According to the press release, this exhibit was designed to celebrate and showcase, “the creativity and contributions of our nation’s early cultures, great minds and other founding influences, people nationwide will have the opportunity to submit to the Library their own creative works in the form of stories, poems, video, audio, photos–anything that can be transmitted in an electronic file.”

All exhibits are free and open to the public.


101 Independence Ave, SE, Washington, DC. By metro, Capitol South station.

Official Website

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