Library of Congress

Library of Congress 1

The Library of Congress is amazing.  Of course, as an entity it is United States’ national library, the research library of Congress, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States.  It is one of the two largest libraries in the world (by shelf space and number of books).  And it doesn’t just include printed works but audio as well!  Take a list on the National Jukebox and explore the old recordings.

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I had no idea the building would be as gorgeous as it is.  Even if you’re a library hater (seriously?! I don’t think this is the blog for you) – I would recommend a visit.  It’s (mostly) physically located in three buildings on Capitol Hill which are connected by underground passageways so that you only need to pass through security once in a single visit.

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The Thomas Jefferson building is stunning and filled with sculptures, murals and inspirational quotes about books, reading, and knowledge.  You’re able to look down into the Reading Room from up above and if you have a LoC library card, you can go in (!) as well as request materials.  Only high-ranking officials are allowed to remove reading materials from the reading rooms.

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I could have spent days here.  Next time, with my LoC library card in hand, maybe I will.  They have an entire room devoted entirely to family trees and genealogy, which I think could be a fascinating project.  Applying and receiving a library card is a relatively basic procedure (20-30 minutes) and is hands down, the happiest I’ve ever looked on an ID card.

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