Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.
Things to See & Do
The Library of Congress offers many exciting activities on site and online! Entrance to the Thomas Jefferson Building is free, and open to the public. You may participate in a guided tour or a gallery talk, or take a self-guided tour of the building and the exhibitions.
Today's Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 158 million items includes more than 36 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages; more than 69 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.
Walk the underground tunnel over to the Capitol Visitors Center - this is a fun way to get over to the Capitol Building, and a way to stay cool during the hotter months if you are visiting during the summer.
Take a guided tour (although you must set this up in advance with your congressional office). Tours are conducted from the downstairs visitors gallery. You can see the same areas on a self-guided tour, or you can try to jump onto an existing one.
Library of Congress Insider Tips