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Thomas Jefferson Building - Guided Tours

Take a free one-hour walking tour of the historic Thomas Jefferson building to learn about its symbolic art and architecture. Volunteer docents tell the story of the Library, America's oldest cultural institution: its history, collections, and services for Congress and the nation.

Public Tour Schedule

Public tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis without prior reservations. Individuals and families with no more than 10 members may join a public tour. Inquire at the Jefferson Building, Ground Floor Information Desk for availability at least 30 minutes prior to tour time.

Notice: The Library of Congress will be closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 23), Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year’s Day (January 1) in observance of those holidays.

Monday through Friday:

  • 9:30 a.m. (only Nov 24 and 27 and December 18-22 and 26-29)
  • 10:30 a.m.
  • 11:30 a.m.
  • 12:30 p.m.
  • 1:30 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m.


  • 10:30 a.m.
  • 11:30 a.m.
  • 1:30 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m.

On federal holidays, the first tour begins at 9:30 a.m. NOTE: On days with especially high visitation, the Library may offer a "build your own tour" experience with docents located throughout the building instead of a guided walking tour.

Special Public Offerings

Family Tour

Presidents Day Holiday: Monday February 19 at 10 a.m.

For elementary children (ages 6 to 12) accompanied by an adult. Up to 25 participants (including adults) on a first-come, first-served basis. Tour leaves promptly from the Jefferson Ground Floor Center Information Desk.

Touch History: A verbal description tour of The Thomas Jefferson Building

First Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.; Second Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Visitors with visual impairments are invited to experience a walking tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building. The Touch History tour is led by a specially trained docent, who uses vivid language to describe the building. Reservations via Eventbrite are suggested, but walk-ins are always welcome.

Whittall Pavilion and Musical Instruments: Open House

10 a.m. to noon
Thursday February 15 and Tuesday February 20
Thursday March 1 and Friday March 23

Periodically, the Library opens the Music Division's Whittall Pavilion for public viewing. A Visitor Services Office volunteer is on hand to describe and answer questions about the Whittall's Stradivari string instruments, flute collection and artwork. Visitors are invited to take advantage of these opportunities to experience this beautiful and intimate space.

Visitas Guiadas en español del edificio Thomas Jefferson

febrero 6, 14 (11 AM); febrero 23 (1 PM)

La Oficina de Servicios al Visitante de la Biblioteca del Congreso ofrecerá visitas guiadas en español del edificio Thomas Jefferson. Las visitas están limitadas a 25 personas en orden de llegada. Reserve su espacio con 30 minutos de antelación al comienzo de la visita en el mostrador de información para visitantes que está localizado en la planta baja. Las visitas duran una hora aproximadamente y abarcan un preámbulo de la historia y servicios de la Biblioteca y el arte y la arquitectura del histórico edificio Thomas Jefferson. Solicite acomodaciones del Acta de Americanos con Discapacidades (ADA, sigla en inglés) con cinco días laborables de antelación a través del (202) 707-6362 o en [email protected].

For more public events, check the Event Calendar


The Thomas Jefferson Building is located on First Street SE, between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street. For the tour, please check at the Ground Floor Information Desk for availability.

Group & Student Tours

Group tours are offered for 10-60 people from your organization or school (fourth grade and above). Reservations must be submitted two weeks in advance, but no more than three months prior to the tour date.

About group tours

Kids & Families

Pick up children's activity sheets at the Information Desks. See Saturday schedule above for information about family tours, or ask at an information desk. Bring your children to visit the Young Readers Center Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

More family activities


The Library buildings are fully accessible. A limited number of wheelchairs are provided at the Jefferson Building ground floor information desk.

More on accessibility

The Thomas Jefferson Building is located on First Street SE, between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street. For the tour, please check at the Ground Floor Information Desk for availability.

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