Library of Congress Photos

Exterior of the Library of Congress

Victoria Chamberlain / TripSavvy

The Library of Congress, is a "must see" attraction in Washington DC. The largest library in the world, is comprised of three buildings in Washington DC.

  • Thomas Jefferson Building - 1st St SE, between Independence Ave and East Capitol St.
  • James Madison Building - Independence Ave, between 1st and 2nd Sts.
  • John Adams Building - 2nd St SE, between Independence Ave and East Capitol St.

The Thomas Jefferson Building, shown here, is the original building that was built in 1897. Located east of the U.S. Capitol, it is a beautiful building with many unique architectural features. Public exhibitions are open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Library is an interesting place to visit and has programs for all ages.

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Library of Congress: Great Hall

Great hall of Library of Congress

Victoria Chamberlain / TripSavvy

The Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building is elaborately decorated with works of art from nearly fifty American painters and sculptors.

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Library of Congress: Great Hall Stairway

Great Hall Stairway
Rachel Cooper

Visitors can take a guided tour of the Jefferson Building of Library of Congress and learn about the building's history and its unique architectural features.

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Library of Congress: Great Hall - Two Stories

Great Hall - Two Stories
Rachel Cooper

The Great Hall of the Library of Congress is two-stories high and has many beautiful features.

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Library of Congress: Main Reading Room

Main Reading Room
Michael Dersin

The art and architecture within the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Main Reading Room is magnificent. Most researchers begin their work in the Main Reading Room. This is the principal point for gaining access to the Library's general collections of books and bound periodicals. The Main Reading Room is open to ages 16 and above. All researchers must have a current Reader Identification Card.

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Library of Congress: Statues - Main Reading Room

Statues - Main Reading Room
Rachel Cooper

Sixteen bronze statues are set above the galleries in the Main Reading Room.

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Library of Congress: Thomas Jefferson Library

Thomas Jefferson Library
Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson donated his personal collection of books to Congress. Visitors can see the Thomas Jefferson collection at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

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Library of Congress: James Madison Memorial Building

Library of Congress James Madison Building
Library of Congress

The James Madison Memorial Building was built as an addition to the Library of Congress and a memorial to James Madison. Modern in style, the building dedicated in 1980, contains more than 2 million square feet. A Memorial hall features a statue of Madison and eight quotations from his presidency. 

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Library of Congress: John Adams Building

Library of Congress John Adams Building
Library of Congress

The John Adams Building was added as an annex to the original Library of Congress Building and opened in 1938. The building is five stories and contains 180 miles of shelving. Decorative features and metalwork in the first floor lobbies and corridors and in the fifth floor lobbies and reading rooms are worth special note.

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Library of Congress: Fountain - Library of Congress Exterior

Fountain - Library of Congress Exterior
Rachel Cooper

The large fountain in front of the Library of Congress displays bronze figures of Neptune surrounded by his court.

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