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Special Format Collections Overview: Library of Congress
The Library's special format collections include photographs, maps, music, sound, film, manuscripts, and other media.
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The Library makes hundreds of special format, language, and subject collections available through a variety of cataloging and reference tools in its specialized reading rooms:

As with printed materials published in the United States, Copyright deposits are the core of many of the special format collections, particularly in map, motion picture, music and recorded sound, photograph, and print formats. Many other special collections were acquired through gifts, bequests, or purchase.

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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