October 3, 2019 Library of Congress to Hold Annual Fall Main Reading Room and Packard Campus Open Houses in October

Press Contact: Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322
Public Contact: Visitor Services (202) 707-8000
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov

Twice each year, the Library of Congress opens its magnificent Main Reading Room to share information about how the public can access the Library’s resources year-round. The Main Reading Room will be open to the public on the federal Columbus Day holiday, Monday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Main Reading Room is located on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE, Washington, D.C.

The Jefferson Building will open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In lieu of the normal tour schedule, docents will be available to talk with visitors about the Jefferson Building, its history, art and architecture and the Library’s collections and exhibitions between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Special Displays

This year’s Fall Open House will highlight a variety of materials from the Library of Congress collections: children’s books by and about Supreme Court Justices, items from the personal library of Carl Sagan, the Blackwell Family tree (family of Arthur Ashe, Jr.) tracing family lineage back to 1735, Copyright Treasures such as the collection of Muppet toys, and a display of print-braille books and tactile images. Reference librarians will also be on hand to demonstrate services, offer instruction on obtaining a reader-registration card and answer questions. No other reference services will be available, and all other Library of Congress reading rooms and buildings will be closed. Photography is allowed; however, visitors may not use selfie sticks, mono-, bi- or tripods.

Family Activities

The Library’s Young Readers Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with activity stations and programming for visitors. Children and teens are invited make, paint and decorate “cartoneras,” or books made from cardboard and recycled materials, in a bookmaking workshop co-sponsored by the Library’s Hispanic Division. This literary movement of cartonera workshopping rose in Latin America in 2000s and spans a variety of topics and cultures. Families are also invited to engage in other crafts celebrating books and reading and to enjoy the center’s collection of books, games, puppets and more. Young people under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.


The Library’s exhibitions will be open throughout the day. A tour of “Exploring the Early Americas will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the entrance to the gallery. “Exploring the Early Americas provides insight into indigenous cultures, the drama of the encounters between Native Americans and European explorers and settlers, and the pivotal changes caused by the meeting of the American and European worlds. Other exhibitions include “Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote,” which tells the story of the 72-year campaign for women’s suffrage, and Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels an Pages,” which explores the realm of comic art and how visual and narrative storytelling styles have evolved from panels in early newspapers to contemporary comic images.

More information about the Library and the exhibitions is available at the information desks, at loc.gov/visit/ or by calling (202) 707-8000.

Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation

The Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Va., also invites the public to visit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 14 to learn more about the audio-visual conservation services conducted by the Library. This year, special attention will be given to the world of color. Many people are familiar with Technicolor films such as “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) and “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938), but did you know that there are dozens of other color processes that have existed throughout motion picture history? Including during the silent era? And, while not traditionally thought of as being visual, the recorded sound medium has utilized and incorporated color in surprising ways. Emphasis will be given to some of these colorful collection items held at the Library’s Packard Campus during this year's open house. Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in interactive sessions in the listening room and view a video highlighting the Library’s work and items from the moving image collection in the theater. The Packard Campus is located at 19053 Mount Pony Road in Culpeper, Va.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 19-092
ISSN 0731-3527