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Local History and Genealogy Reading Room (Researcher and Reference Services Division)

Notice: As the Library of Congress gradually begins to reopen its Reading Rooms for research, we are putting safety first with new procedures and practices that protect everyone’s health. Online resources and reference services, such as Ask a Librarian, will continue to be available during this time. Starting June 1 confirmed appointments are required for entry into Library facilities, and everyone must follow the health and safety protocols established by the Library, in consultation with public health professionals. Most of these protocols are mandatory, regardless of vaccination status. For details on Reading Room openings, appointments and “Know Before you Go” checklist, see:

Tours and Research Orientations
Learn about using the Library.
Before You Begin
Reading room policies and preparing for your research.
New Helpful forms for recording research findings: Family Group Sheet (PDF 206KB) and Research Log (PDF 105KB)
The Collections
What genealogical materials are available on site
Internet Subscription Services
Genealogy databases available at the Library of Congress.
Searching Tips
For locating genealogical materials in the Library's online catalog.
Acquiring Published Genealogies
How to submit materials to the Library as a gift, for purchase, and for copyright.
Bibliographies and Guides
Compiled by reference librarians.
Digital Collections
Digitized materials on U.S. history from the Library of Congress collections. Includes first-person accounts of 19th-century California, the Upper Midwest from 1820 to 1910, the Chesapeake Bay area from 1600 to 1925, and other resources for genealogy research.
Other Internet Sources
Other library catalogs and Web resources devoted to genealogy and local history.
Image: see caption below

The family photograph tree / Currier & Ives c1871.
from the collections of the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.

101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ 100
Washington, D.C. 20540-4660
Tel: (202) 707-3399
Contact Information
Map showing location

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday:
8:30am - 9:30pm
Tuesday, Friday, Saturday:
8:30am - 5:00pm
Closed Sundays &
Federal Holidays

Ask a Librarian
Want to ask the reference staff a question about the local history and genealogy collections?

Search the Library's Catalog

Free Wireless Access Available in the Main Reading Room

  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  September 15, 2021
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