COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update

The Capitol Visitor Center remains closed. We are not taking tour reservations at this time. Please check out our video tours and other online resources.

 

Online Gift Shop Now Open

Check out our new Online Gift Shop, https://shop.visitthecapitol.gov. All products are Made-in-the-USA, and many are created exclusively for our store. We look forward to welcoming you to the CVC Online Gift Shop.

Rebuilding the Nation's Library

In 1814 Thomas Jefferson sold Congress his personal library to replace the Library of Congress collection destroyed during the War of 1812 when the British burned the U.S. Capitol. On Christmas Eve 1851, a second fire decimated the library. It consumed approximately 35,000 of the 55,000 volumes, including about two-thirds of Jefferson’s books. In 1852, Congress authorized funds to repair and enlarge the Library and to rebuild the collection. A new, fireproof Library of Congress opened in the Capitol in 1853.