The Library of Congress occupies three large buildings on the Capitol Hill:
1. the Thomas Jefferson Building (1897) which is the original separate Library of Congress building (the library operated in US Capitol building from the begining in 1800)
2. the John Adams Building (1938)
3. the James Madison Memorial Building (1981).
It's the world's largest library with a staff of over 4,000 and over 130 million items on approximately 850 km (530 mi) of bookshelves now (2005). About half of over 29 mln books are written in other language than English, in over 400 languages. Quite impressive size and variety and... very American.
There is a large dome (rotunda) with lantern on the top of the Thomas Jefferson building which covers the Main Reading Room. Go to the Visitors' Center of the Jefferson Building to watch 12-min. movie about the Library of Congress and visit the glorious Great Hall which rises 23 metres (75 feet) from marble floor to stained glass ceiling. Ask about tours but remember that the main goal of the library is to serve the Congress and public readers, not visitors. If I had registered as a reader I would have got Reader Identification card issued free (with a photo taken at place) by the Library. It would have been quite memorable keepsake for me.
The Library of Congress was established in 1800 as a legislative library. Since World War II it has become an international resource. Its collections total over 90 million items.
The Library occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill, the 1897 Jefferson Building (grand monument to civilization and culture,) the 1938 Adams Building (a giant bookstack,) and the 1980 Madison Building(2.5 million square feet of space.)
You will find the Library of Congress behind the Supreme Court.
The Library Of Congress. This is a BEAUTIFUL building on the inside, with a tremendous rotunda. There are desk carrolls underneath the dome for general studies. It is a working library available to anyone.
The building is dircetly east, acros the street from the Capitol Building one building south of the Supreme Court.
See the inside of the Library of Congress. While it is nothing particularily special on the outside it is a very beautiful building on the inside.
Mount Vernon is well worth the trip. We took a cruise up the river on the Potomac Spirit. It was nice to sit for a while and watch the scenery go by after walking so much on the Mall. Mount Vernon is a very nice place. If you return on the cruise you only have two and a half hours to visit. That seems like plenty of time but we probably could have used another hour or so.
Witness the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Very impressive!
Fondest memory: Visiting Mount Vernon
Almost being run over by Teddy Kennedy (he wasn't driving).