Library of Congress >> About the Library >> Especially for Researchers
Personal Belongings Restrictions
Most of the Library's reading rooms restrict the type of personal belongings that researchers can bring with them. This is done to enhance the security of the Library's collections, and to ensure that an atmosphere fostering research is maintained in the reading rooms. In 1998, the Library implemented new restrictions on the personal belongings that researchers can bring with them into the Main Reading Room and into most of the other Jefferson Building reading rooms. Effective August 4, 2003, the program has been extended to all Madison Building reading rooms. Items that may not be brought into these rooms include, but are not limited to, the following:
Cloakrooms are provided in both the Jefferson and Madison Buildings for the storage of personal belongings. Also available at each cloakroom are clear plastic bags, which researchers can use to carry non-prohibited items into the reading rooms.
It is important to know that the above list provides a baseline of prohibited items. Policies differ for the various reading rooms. Some require that researchers store all personal items before entering the reading room and, in addition to the staffed cloakroom, lockers are provided for that purpose. For more information about the requirements in a particular reading room, one should contact that reading room. (Click here for links to the Library's reading rooms.)