How do I plan a visit to the Manuscript Reading Room?

Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the Manuscript Division ahead of a visit. Collections may be stored offsite or have access restrictions.

Readers must present a verified Library of Congress Reader Identification Card to gain access to the Manuscript Reading Room.

With staff approval, researchers may bring loose sheets of paper, computers and photographic equipment into the Manuscript Reading Room. Some personal items, such as briefcases, notebooks, books, folders, envelopes, and purses are prohibited. Free lockers are provided to secure personal property. See Manuscript Reading Room Rules and Regulations and Personal Belongings at the Library of Congress for more information. 

General information on conducting research at the Library can be found at “Information for Researchers.” Information about conducting research in the Manuscript Reading Room is available in “Using the Collections.” You may also find the video tutorial "Research in the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress" helpful.

Please note that the Library of Congress is currently closed to the public and most staff.  See the Library's Covid 19 page for more information.


Last Updated: Jul 02, 2020
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Additional Ways to Contact Us

Send written correspondence to:

Manuscript Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4680