Can I access books owned by Thomas Jefferson?

Thomas Jefferson's book collection was sold to Congress in 1815 and is on permanent display at the Library of Congress. The Thomas Jefferson’s Library Exhibition gallery is located on the second floor of the Jefferson building.

To explore the books that Jefferson owned you can page through the collection he sold to the Library of Congress on the library’s website

If you are interested in reading and handling the books Jefferson had in his library, we would like to help you find other copies, as the books in the Jefferson Collection are fragile. If it is imperative to your work to see Jefferson's own copy please contact library staff using the link in the sidebar.

More information about Jefferson and his library can be found in an online exhibit created by the Library of Congress. Information specifically about the Jefferson Collection at the Library of Congress can be found on the page about Jefferson's Library.

Monticello, Jefferson’s estate in Charlottesville, Virginia, has an extensive database of all the books Jefferson owned during his lifetime, including the books he sold to Congress.

We hope that this is helpful; If not, please feel free to submit your question to begin a conversation with a Reference Librarian. 


Last Updated: Jun 24, 2020
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Send written correspondence to:

Rare Book and Special Collections Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4740