Library of Congress Tours and Information
Library of Congress Tours
The Library of Congress occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897) is the original separate Library of Congress building. (The Library began in 1800 inside the U.S. Capitol.) The John Adams Building was built in 1938 and the James Madison Memorial Building was completed in 1981. Other facilities include the High Density Storage Facility (2002) at Fort Meade, Md., and the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation (2007) in Culpeper, Va.
Today's Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 170 million items includes more than 39 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 73 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.
What do you need to know?
Thomas Jefferson Building Public Tour Schedule
Public tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building are available on a first-come, first-served basis without prior reservations. Individuals and families with no more than 10 members may join a public tour. Inquire at the Jefferson Building, Ground Floor Information Desk for availability at least 30 minutes prior to tour time.
Notice: The Library of Congress will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 26), Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year’s Day (January 1) in observance of those holidays.
Monday through Friday:
- 10:30 a.m.
- 11:30 a.m.
- 12:30 p.m.
- 1:30 p.m.
- 2:30 p.m.
- 3:30 p.m.
- 10:30 a.m.
- 11:30 a.m.
- 1:30 p.m.
- 2:30 p.m.
- On days with especially high visitation, the Library may offer a "build your own tour" experience with docents located throughout the building instead of a guided walking tour.
Additional Public Tours
Family Building Tour
- Saturday, February 29 at 10:00 am
- Saturday, March 28, 10:00 am
- Monday, March 30, 10:00 am
A tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building for elementary school aged children (ages 6-12). Children must be accompanied by an adult. Capacity is 25 participants (including adults) welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to accommodate as many children as possible, adult participation may be limited to 2 per extended family group. Tours last approximately 40 minutes and leave promptly from the Jefferson Ground Floor Center Information Desk.
Family Mythology Tour
- Tuesday, March 31, 10:00 am
Experience the Thomas Jefferson Building as Mount Olympus! Discover your favorite gods, heroes and mythological characters at the Library of Congress. For ages 8-14. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adult participation may be limited to two per extended family or friend group. Check in at the ground floor information desk for availability. Participation is on a first-come, first served basis. Tours are approximately 40 minutes.
French Language Tour
- Mardi 10 mars, à 13h/Tuesday, March 10, 1:00 pm
- Vendredi 13 mars, à 12h/Friday, March 13, 12:00 pm
- Lundi 16 mars, à 11h/Monday, March 16, 11:00 am
- Vendredi 20 mars, à 12h/Friday, March 20, 12:00 pm
- Lundi 23 mars, à 11h/Monday, March 23, 11:00 am
- Vendredi 27 mars, à 12h/Friday, March 27, 12:00 pm
- Mardi 31 mars, à 11h/Tuesday, March 31, 11:00 am
Direction de l’Accueil du Public de la bibliothèque du Congrès propose des visites guidées en français de l’édifice Thomas Jefferson. Les visites sont limitées à 25 personnes par ordre d’arrivée. Réservez votre place 30 minutes avant le début de la visite au comptoir d’information du rez-de-chaussée. Les visites durent à peu près une heure et incluent un aperçu de l’histoire et des services offerts par la bibliothèque, ainsi que l’art et l’architecture de l’immeuble historique Thomas Jefferson. Pour les personnes en situation de handicap selon l’American Disability Act (acronyme ADA), veuillez contacter avec cinq jours ouvrables d’avance le (202) 707-6362 ou ADA@loc.gov
Spanish Language Tour
- Miércoles 11 de marzo, 1:00 pm/Wednesday, March 11, 1:00 pm
- Sábado 14 de marzo, 1:00 pm/Saturday, March 14, 1:00 pm
- Martes 17 de marzo, 1:00 pm/Tuesday, March 17, 1:00 pm
- Martes 24 de marzo, 1:00 pm/Tuesday, March 24, 1:00 pm
- Sábado 28 de marzo, 1:00 pm/Saturday, March 28, 1:00 pm
Centro para Visitantes de la Biblioteca del Congreso ofrecerá visitas guiadas en español del edificio Thomas Jefferson. Las visitas están limitadas a 25 personas en orden de llegada. Reserve su espacio con 30 minutos de antelación al comienzo de la visita en el mostrador de información para visitantes que está localizado en la planta baja. Las visitas duran una hora aproximadamente y abarcan un preámbulo de la historia y servicios de la Biblioteca y el arte y la arquitectura del histórico edificio Thomas Jefferson. Solicite acomodaciones del Acta de Americanos con Discapacidades (ADA, sigla en inglés) con cinco días laborables de antelación a través del (202) 707-6362 o en ADA@loc.gov.
Touch History Tour: Tour for Blind and Visually Impaired Visitors
- Saturday, March 14, 9:30 am
- Also available by advance request
Visitors with visual impairments are invited to experience a walking tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building. The Touch History tour is led by a specially trained docent who uses vivid language to describe the building. Tours last about 1 hour. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Explore Cart: Evolution of the Book Suspended until further notice
Explore the evolution of books from prehistoric cave paintings to emoji and tablets. Docent’s choice of activities; examples include writing with Cuneiform on clay tablets, decoding oracle bones, practicing calligraphy with reed styluses and feather quills, or printing with metal, moveable type.
Explore Cart: Jefferson Building Architecture Suspended until further notice
Explore the impact of the industrial revolution on the design and construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building; learn about architectural symbolism of the Gilded Age; touch materials and tools used to create the building that has become the heart of the Library of Congress.
Whitthall Open House
- Friday, March 6, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
- Wednesday, March 18, 10:00 am -12:00 pm
Periodically, the Library opens the Music Division's Whittall Pavilion for public viewing. A volunteer from the Office of Visitor Engagement is on hand to describe and answer questions about the Whittall's Stradivari string instruments, flute collection and artwork. Visitors are invited to take advantage of these opportunities to experience this beautiful and intimate space.
The Library of Congress offers free guided public tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building year round, Monday through Saturday. View our full public tour schedule. For more public events, check the Event Calendar.
How do I get scheduled for a tour?
Click here to visit the official Library of Congress Tours website.