Library of Congress

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In its dedication to the written word, this building is the pinnacle of everything literary. Visit this treasury showcasing the world through writing.

Washington, D.C.’s Library of Congress is the world’s largest library. With books and manuscripts from every part of the world, the amassed collection numbers more than 167 million items and grows by about 12,000 items every day. Tour this building to be awed by humanity’s literary contribution to society.

Visit the stately Italian Renaissance-style Thomas Jefferson building, built in the 19th century, the first building of three comprising the library complex on Capitol Hill. The other structures, John Adams Building and James Madison Memorial Building, were built in the 20th century.

Spend time viewing ongoing exhibits, including a popular one about baseball. The Law Library of Congress, the world’s largest law library with over 2.9 million volumes, contains valuable publications dating back to the birth of the nation.

Not only is the Library of Congress massive, it’s also the oldest federal cultural institution in the U.S. Imagine the horror when the original library, housed in the Capitol building, was destroyed by fire in 1814 by British troops during the War of 1812. A year later the core of a new library was established with procurement of President Thomas Jefferson’s personal library.

It wasn’t until the last half of the century, after the Civil War, that work began on constructing a new library, which opened in 1897. The rapidly increasing importance of the library took it beyond being mainly a depository for government publications and documents to the role of a public institution. Today’s digital world also has the library as a key player in national and world digital libraries. View a portion of the collection that includes the largest and smallest books, the former measuring 5 feet by 7 feet (1.5 meters by 2.1 meters) and the latter about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building is located on First Street, within sight of the Capitol building. It is closed Sundays and certain holidays. Admission is free, with self-guided and 1-hour conducted tours available. Use the walkway that connects the library with the Capitol to avoid double security checks.

Top Hotels Close to Library of Congress

Hotel Harrington
Hotel Harrington
3 out of 5
436 11th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20004
The price is $125 per night from Feb 16 to Feb 17
$125
per night
Feb 16 - Feb 17
Stay at this 3-star hotel in Washington. Enjoy free WiFi, 3 restaurants, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the overall value in our reviews. ...
3.7/5 Good! (1,668 reviews)
"Everything seemed to me except that there is no microwave in the room and that they charge you daily for parking and if you leave during the day you have to pay again"

Reviewed on Feb 7, 2023

Hotel Harrington
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
550 C St SW, Washington, DC, 20024
The price is $132 per night from Feb 11 to Feb 12
$132
per night
Feb 11 - Feb 12
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly aparthotel in Washington. Enjoy free WiFi, an outdoor pool, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the helpful staff and ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (2,822 reviews)
"Front desk staff was super! Very friendly and helpful!! Our room was spacious and extremely clean. One complaints are the heater/ac is extremely loud. Our 2nd night we had extremely loud neighbors who were obnoxious and rude. Not the hotels fault though. We will definitely stay here again!"

Reviewed on Feb 4, 2023

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Hotel Washington
Hotel Washington
4.5 out of 5
515 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20004
The price is $229 per night from Feb 10 to Feb 11
$229
per night
Feb 10 - Feb 11
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury aparthotel in Washington. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and a rooftop terrace. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (876 reviews)
"Friendly staff, clean and great location; will definitely return"

Reviewed on Feb 7, 2023

Hotel Washington
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Library of Congress

citizenM Washington DC Capitol
citizenM Washington DC Capitol
4 out of 5
550 School St SW, Washington, DC, 20024
citizenM Washington DC Capitol
Hotel Harrington
Hotel Harrington
3 out of 5
436 11th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20004
Hotel Harrington
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
550 C St SW, Washington, DC, 20024
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Hotel Washington
Hotel Washington
4.5 out of 5
515 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20004
Hotel Washington
YOTEL Washington DC
YOTEL Washington DC
3.5 out of 5
415 New Jersey Ave Nw, Washington, DC, 20001
YOTEL Washington DC
Cambria Hotel Washington D.C. Capitol Riverfront
Cambria Hotel Washington D.C. Capitol Riverfront
3 out of 5
69 Q STREET SW, Washington, DC, 20024
Cambria Hotel Washington D.C. Capitol Riverfront
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
4 out of 5
400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20001
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
3 out of 5
400 E Street SW, Washington, DC, 20024
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Phoenix Park Hotel
Phoenix Park Hotel
3.5 out of 5
520 N Capitol St NW, Washington, DC, 20001
Phoenix Park Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.