U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

The Library's New Home

Established by Congress in 1800 and housed in the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress was intended as a resource for legislators. From its initial collection of 740 books and three maps, its holdings expanded in all areas of knowledge. In the 1870 Copyright Act, Congress stipulated that copies of protected works be deposited in the library, and the collections rapidly overflowed the space. In 1897, the library relocated to a monumental new building commissioned by Congress.

1 Image "Congressional Library Building, view of Great Hall,” Smithmeyer... View All Images
1 Image “Congressional Library, the entrance pavilion,” by L.C. Handy, ca.... View All Images
1 Image “Great Hall, Library of Congress,” by Carol Highsmith, 2007 View All Images
1 Image Old Congressional Library in the U.S. Capitol, photograph by Jarvis E... View All Images