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“You Should Not Miss the Library of Congress”

Library of Congress
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Owner description: Though the Library of Congress doesn't own every book ever published, it sure has most of them, with 532 miles of shelves and 115 million items, with 7,000 added each working day.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The Library of Congress is incomparable. The writer has been a docent there for more than 5 years and still looks forward to his every visit. It is the largest library in the world. It's collection includes materials in every language in the world, in books, manuscripts, periodicals, maps, prints, photographs, movies, videos, music, etc. Its main building, the Jefferson Building is a stunning example of Italian Renaissance design with a with Beaux Art interior decoration that will excite and bewilder. The collection and displays consist of rare books and other treasures. The best part is that it is accessible to all, not just "qualified" scholars. You don't have to pay to access the materials or to tour the Library. Docent led tours of the public spaces are free. It would be a mistake to visit Washington and miss this unique institution of the US government.

1  Thank Jack L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,805 - 4,809 of 7,370 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2013

I'm not sure why the Library of Congress became such a tourist attraction, especially with all the other sites to see in Washington, but a steady stream of visitors flows through the Jefferson building daily.

People expecting to see a library with books will be disappointed. The books are largely shelved elsewhere and, besides, the stacks are closed.

A Gutenberg Bible is on display, and there's an exhibit of Jefferson's library, which is impressive from afar but a closer looks reveals many yawn-inducing volumes. The classics are well represented, but those titles are counterbalanced by shelves of books on horticulture and animal husbandry.

If you're close and have time, by all means stop by for a quick visit; but there's no need to go out of your way or rearrange an itinerary.

Thank FmrPresJamesTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Highly recommend taking one of the daily free tours led by exceptional docents. Although you are not allowed to walk in to the main reading room on the tour, you can observe it behind glass windows.

Thank joidevivre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

A wonderful experience. Take the guided tour. It is free and it is definitely worthwhile. Gorgeous building. There is an underground passageway between the Capitol and the Library. If you go that way, you do not need to go through security again.

Thank julibeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

A lot of cool documents and photos, Jeffersons library was cool. The wallpaper was scary looking!!!! I loved all the marble and statues

Thank Rebecca S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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