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Library of Congress, Washington DC

Government Building · Library
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With nearly 7,000 books added to its collection every day, Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, established in 1800 to prove to the world that the United States was a cultured country. The library's nearly 850 km (530 mi) of shelves hold 32 million books and 61 million manuscripts. Boasting the largest rare book collection in North America, the library also houses one of only three remaining vellum copies of the famous Gutenberg Bible. Dedicated to organizing information from the past three centuries, this institution preserves approximately 1 million newspaper issues, 500,000 microfilm reels, 5 million maps, 3 million sound recordings, and nearly 15 million prints and photographic images. Start your quest for knowledge at the visitor center, where you can arrange for a guided tour of the reading rooms. Arrange to visit Library of Congress and other attractions in Washington DC using our Washington DC holiday planner.
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Library of Congress reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
9,084 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The line for security was long - it took about 45 minutes or more to get through it. Considering that we only spent about 30 minutes inside, it was probably not worth the wait. They were not very... 
    The line for security was long - it took about 45 minutes or more to get through it. Considering that we only spent about 30 minutes inside, it was probably not worth the wait. They were not very...  more »
  • We made a timed reservation as required, and still had to wait in line for a half hour, probably due to the Christmas holiday. It was well worth the wait to visit this spectacular historic building.....  more
    We made a timed reservation as required, and still had to wait in line for a half hour, probably due to the Christmas holiday. It was well worth the wait to visit this spectacular historic building.....  more »
  • Incredibly beautiful, floor to ceiling! Don't miss it! The mosaic of Minerva is unbelievable. Pretty Christmas Tree up in the Great Hall. 
    Incredibly beautiful, floor to ceiling! Don't miss it! The mosaic of Minerva is unbelievable. Pretty Christmas Tree up in the Great Hall.  more »
Google
  • Favorite place I visited in D.C.. Words cannot begin to describe how gorgeous this building is inside and out. Every single detail so carefully thought out from the architecture to the art. Definitely go visit if you can, there’s so much to see. Also try and get a library card if you can it’s totally free and a fun souvenir to keep. It’s a legit library card and you can use it to enter the main reading room but you usually need to make an appointment weeks in advance to get in room but the card is a nice memory to keep.
  • Library of Congress is considered as World’s largest Library collection wise. it’s so big and architecture wise so profound and phenomenal. If you are researcher then you can spend time in reading room. Public reading room is also very and Awesome. Central dome is really beautiful. If you are visiting DC don’t miss it. you will enjoy. I went with my mother in law and she was chief librarian back in our country. I was a good experience.
  • Beautiful. Photos will never do it justice, you need to see it in person! It’s literally breathtaking. It’s amazing to just stand in the middle of it and look up in awe. I went on a school trip from DC and it was a great learning experience. But really I’ve never seen such beautiful architecture and design.
  • One of the most beautiful buildings I have ever visited. I should have planned to be here longer. I only got to see a small portion of what was there. Plan on getting a library card. Also make sure to make a reservation ahead of time. Don’t miss the reading room, the Gutenberg Bible and the books from Thomas Jefferson’s personal library.
  • What an incredible experience! It took us about twenty mins to get library cards but it was worth it! We also felt the amount of people there on a Tuesday was weird but it’s popular for a reason. Will def return. The staff were so nice and knowledgeable.

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