Library of Congress, Washington DC

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
8,582 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This has been a favorite place to visit whenever we were in D.C.and it was never really that crowded. It has been discovered for the gem that it is and there were a lot more people. The building itsel...  more »
  • We stumbled in to avoid the rain after we left our capital tour. You can by pass a second security line by taking the undergrown hallway. You can spend a good hour or two walking around. I found the a...  more »
  • We got a tour through our Congressman. The docent that led our tour was pretty lame. We really didn’t see much of anything except an overview of the main reading room. The building is beautiful and I’...  more »
Google
  • Review from Spring 2013. Walking right across the tunnel from Capitol you end up in the library of congress, which is the best way to get here. Once you are in the library, the Capitol building feels to far away from within. The art on the walls and the high ceilings are just so amazing, there are tours available as well, however I could not get on one due to shortage of time.
  • As the Library is connected to the Capitol visitors centre, it makes sense to combine the two on your visit. The gallery is a must see looking down into the reading room. Some of the exhibitions are detailed and informative. The building itself is stunning, with marble floors, staircases and beautiful plasterwork ceilings
  • We didn't use any of the library facilities. We were just regular tourists who wanted to see the inside of the building and the special exhibitions. And both did not disappoint. The building is magnificent and ornate, definitely an attraction in its own right. The special exhibition with old maps was really cool, as well as Jefferson's library housing the volumes of books that would become the LoC's first collection. We were here for two hours. Admission is free, photos are allowed (just no flash), and there is the usual security check. Stop by the gift shop before leaving and grab a book or souvenir.
  • WOW! Just stunning. I do not think there are words to describe it. The architecture is absolutely amazing! I was geeking out about the architecture and history of this place. So fascinating and so much history here. Just...WOW! Definitely come here if you are in the DC area!
  • This is not your typical library. This libary is full of government policy and business style documents. This is a great place for law students or congressional employees. They do have countless amounts of reading material in various topics. This libary is a great place for educator and genius people of the world.
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