- About the Main Reading Room
- The Library's principal reference and
book service point for the general collections.
- Main Reading Room Reference Collection
- About the 70,000-volume general reference collection
on the Main Reading Room's open shelves.
- Microform and Electronic Resources Center (LJ-139, the former Computer Catalog Center)
- The Library's principal service point for
searching the online catalog, subscription
databases, CD-ROMs, and the Internet.
- Bibliographies and Guides
- Full text published guides for the Library's general
collections. Our latest addition: Finding British Parliamentary Publications at the Library of Congress
- Alcove 9 --
Reference Web sites
- A selective list of other Internet resources in the humanities
and social sciences.
This historic room is, through its catalogs, the
primary entrance into the Library's research collections, and the principal
reading room for work in the humanities and social sciences.
Every day, hundreds of books and bound periodical volumes are delivered
from the stacks for use in the Main Reading Room. Even researchers who
will go on to work in one of the specialized reading rooms often begin
their work in the Main Reading Room in order to use the electronic resources
in the Microform and Electronic Resources Center (LJ-139, the former Computer Catalog Center), to consult the Main Card Catalog, to
obtain an orientation to the Library as a whole, or to use some of the
approximately 70,000 volumes in the Main Reading Room reference collection. A transcript of the above video is available.
101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Bldg, LJ 100
Washington, D.C. 20540-4660
Telephone: (202) 707-3399
Map showing location
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday:
8:30am - 9:30pm
Tuesday, Friday, Saturday:
8:30am - 5:00pm
Closed Sunday & Federal Holidays
Ask a Librarian
to ask the reference staff a question about the general
Information for Researchers
Find out about research orientations, reader registration,
online and card catalogs, how to request
materials and other Library policies.