Can I reserve materials in advance of my arrival to the Library or request a large amount of volumes?

I already know some of the titles I'd like to use during my visit, can I go ahead and request them?

Yes you can! 

Researchers visiting who have not yet obtained a reader card may request that materials from the general collections be retrieved in advance of their visit. Readers should first identify needed materials by searching the Library's online catalog.

Advance Reserve Service:

  • Advance Reserve Service is available for items from the General Collections of the Library only. The online catalog record for these items bear the following notation: "Request in: Jefferson or Adams Bldg General or Area Studies Reading Rms."
  • Requests for the Advance Reserve Service must be made at least one week in advance. For International researchers, please request the Advance Reserve Service at least two weeks in advance
  • Once the call numbers have been identified and forwarded to the Loan, Reserves, Accounts section through the Ask A Librarian Service, staff will check the shelves for the availability of the requested items. The call number is found near the bottom of the record under "Item Availability."
  • If the items are available, they will be held for the patron's planned arrival.
  • Once a request has been received, the patron will be contacted by a manager or supervisor.
  • The staff will communicate with the patron about the location where the materials will be held.
  • Advance reserve requests are held for 15 business days following the date of a researchers intended visit.
  • For researchers planning to use materials in a Special Collections Reading Room, we suggest you contact that reading room in advance to determine if the materials you are seeking are on-site or in off-site storage. A list of Reading Rooms can be found at www.loc.gov/rr.
Requesting Volumes in Quantity:
  • For patrons needing large amounts of material from the General Collections, such as numerous books for a special project or a long run of a periodical title, a manager or supervisor will discuss the individual's needs on a case-by-case basis to determine whether an accommodation is warranted.
  • Once the call numbers have been identified and forwarded to the Loan, Reserves, Accounts section through the Ask A Librarian Service, staff will check the shelves for the availability of the requested items.
  • The staff will communicate with the patron about the location where the materials will be held.

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2023
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Please Note

All items lent from the Library of Congress collections must be used on borrowing library premises.

Additional Ways to Contact Us

Send written correspondence to:

Researcher Engagement and General Collections Division
Library of Congress 
Washington, D.C. 20540-4660

Return books via FedEx or UPS to:

Library of Congress, CALM Division 4670
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4670