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General Collections Overview: Library of Congress
The Library's collections of books and pamphlets, classified according to the familiar Library of Congress Classification, are known as the classified or general collections.
Image of the a Library of Congress Reading Room

These materials are accessible through the Library of Congress Online Catalog and are served to researchers in the following reading rooms of the Library:

The Main Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building is the principal reference and book service point for the Library's general collections.

All researchers must have a Library-issued Reader Identification Card to use these collections. All collections are stored in areas that are off-limits to the public and to staff without authorization. This "closed stack policy," like the reader identification program, ensures the security of the Library's collections. Researchers new to the Library are encouraged to take the "Research Orientation to the Library of Congress" course offered by the Humanities and Social Sciences Division. This 90-minute class, offered throughout the year, is a basic introduction for researchers using any of the Library of Congress collections and resources.

The Library of Congress >> Researchers' Home
August 23, 2005
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About the Library
- Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress