Touring the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress – Home of US Copyright

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, and holds over 170 million titles; not just books but also manuscripts, maps, music, and audio-visuals. And if this is not enough to convince you to pay a visit, the Thomas Jefferson building in which the library is housed, is enough to take your breath away.

Table of Contents
Reading room library of Congress

I also had a personal reason to visit the Library of Congress. This is the center of US copyright law, housing the USCO (the U.S. Copyright Office) where I have many of my photographs registered. As I entered the building, it was kind of cool knowing that my work is stored somewhere within this institution. (If you’d like to find out how you can protect your photos, feel free to reach out to me!)

Video of the Library of Congress

But now back to the Library, the architecture inside and out is stunning, and there is plenty for visitors to see, including an original Gutenberg Bible, which is one of the few intact copies in existence. There are beautiful tiles, frescoes, and statues, but the best part was the massive reading room. When we found out that we could have registered for a Reader’s Pass to the library, we were kind of upset! This was toward the end of our stay in DC, and it would have been fun to read and work from this amazing hall. For more information on how to obtain one of these passes, check out this link: Reader Registrations.

Reading Pass Room for the Library of Congress

Another cool thing about visiting the library was the view over the U.S. Capitol building, which sits right across the street. When it was founded in 1800, the Library was actually based out of the Capitol, and it wasn’t until 1897 that it moved into its current location in the Thomas Jefferson building. Naming this after the country’s third president was an obvious choice — after the British had burned a ton of the library’s volumes during the War of 1812, Jefferson sold his impressive private collection of books to the government, doubling the library’s size.

Visiting the library is free, like just about all of DC’s incredible historic sites. But if you’d like to, you do need to register first. You can get your tickets ahead of time through the Library of Congress’s official website.

Library Of Congress Map
Reading Pass Registration
Library of Congress Video
Library of Congress Photos
Library of Congress Tickets
Our Travel Books

More Photos of the Library of Congress

Most images can be licensed for commercial and editorial use, please contact us to find out more.

The Library of Congress Map

Sign up for our free Newsletter

Get our latest articles delivered directly to your inbox! And be one of the first to find out where we’re going next.

More from our Blog:

Leave a Comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *