What do I need to know about the Library's limited reopening?

Beginning June 1, 2021, the Library will provide limited access by appointment only for researchers to use the Manuscript Reading Room. Researchers will be scheduled for a 3-hour time slot on a daily basis for the morning session (beginning at 9:30 am) or the afternoon session (beginning at 1:00 pm). Double booking is not available.

To confirm an appointment, researchers MUST call (202) 707-5387 between 8:30am-5:00pm EST, Monday through Friday. A librarian will answer each call to assign an appointment date and time, discuss available electronic resources on-site, and provide research guidance. Confirmed appointments at fixed times of day are required before coming on-site and appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Due to physical spacing requirements, only one unaccompanied person will be authorized for each appointment. There are 8 spaces available in the Manuscript Reading Room.

  • Confirm your current Library of Congress Reader Card: Researchers who do not have a current Reader Card must complete the online pre-registration form for a Reader Card before coming to the Library.
  • Bring your Reader Card and appointment confirmation: For access to Library facilities, researchers must show their reader cards or proof of reader card pre-registration and proof of their appointment confirmation (paper copy or on a mobile device) when arriving at the Library. Without these, researchers will not be permitted to enter Library premises.
  • Wear a mask: Everyone must wear a barrier mask or cloth face covering that fully covers the nose and mouth and fits snugly against the sides of the face when arriving at Library buildings and while they are inside the Library, including in bathrooms.
  • Follow social distancing policies: Pay attention to posted signs throughout the building to ensure physical distancing and other health precautions.
  • Comply with all health procedures: At the time an appointment is made, health screening requirements will be provided, and temperature checks and screening questions must be completed before entering the building.

Disposable keyboard and mouse covers and cleaning wipes will be provided to researchers at the start of each session. To ensure public safety, the Library has increased cleaning of public spaces and restrooms. In addition, hand sanitizer stations have been installed, and are available at several locations throughout the reading room. Additional information about visiting the Manuscript Reading Room is available at https://www.loc.gov/rr/mss/mss-use.html.

Researchers coming to the Library from areas outside of the Washington, DC metro area must follow local requirements. Out-of-area researchers should also review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel guidance.

Researchers requiring an ADA accommodation for their visit must make a request at least five days before their planned appointment by contacting ADA@loc.gov or (202) 707-6024.

Researchers can also continue to access many Library resources remotely through loc.govAsk a Librarian and Congress.gov.

This page will be updated when there is new information for researchers and access to reading rooms is available.

Last Updated: Jun 01, 2021
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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