Library of Congress

Library of Congress information

Washington, DC , USA
Address
Street 1st St SE
More information
www.loc.gov
Opening hours
8:30am-4:30pm Mon-Sat
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Lonely Planet review

To prove to Europeans that America was cultured, John Adams plunked the world's largest library on Capitol Hill. The LOC's motivation is simple: 'universality,' the idea that all knowledge is useful. Stunning in scope and design, the building's baroque interior and neoclassical flourishes are set off by a Main Reading Room that looks like an ant colony constantly harvesting 29 million books. The visitor center and tours of the reading rooms are both located in the Jefferson Building , just behind the Capitol building.