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Baseball Resources at the Library of Congress

Researching Baseball at the Library

A librarian provides research guidance in the Reference Assistance Room (Jefferson Building, LJ 100). Photo by Library staff, 2019.

Baseball researchers visiting the Library for the first time will need to register on-site for a Reader Identification card through the Reader Registration Station located in the Madison Building, Room LM 133 (in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room) or the Jefferson Building, Room LJ 139 (in the Microform and Electronic Resources Center). Once registered, readers can then visit the appropriate reading room to conduct research.

Please note that the Library of Congress is a closed stack library. Except for reference materials on open shelves in the various reading rooms, material must be requested using the automated call slip feature available through the online catalog. To use this feature, researchers must first obtain a Reader Identification Card and establish an online account. Consult the document "Requesting Materials in the LC Online Catalog" for more details on how to place requests. Researchers outside of the Washington metropolitan area who wish to request and reserve General Collections materials ahead of their visit should review the options on the Library's Advance Reserves page.

Additional information for prospective on-campus researchers can be found through the following links:

The majority of Library users not conducting original baseball research will rely primarily on materials from the General Collections, which consist of the Library's book and bound periodical collections published after 1800. Material in the General Collections can be requested either in the Main Reading Room in the Jefferson Building or the Science, Technology and Business Division on the 5th floor of the Adams Building. Almost all of the Library’s baseball books have call numbers beginning with the letters GV and are shelved in the Adams Building. It is usually much faster to request books in the building in which they are located, which avoids having them sent to a different building. For books whose call numbers do not begin with GV, consult either a reference librarian or staff at the circulation desk for the location.

It is important to note that the Library makes a distinction between newspapers and periodicals (alternately called serials or magazines). All newspapers (except those in non-western alphabets) are kept in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room (LM 133). This reading room also has unbound, current periodicals, usually no more than two years old. Once periodicals are bound, they are housed in the General Collections stacks (Jefferson or Adams Building, depending on call number). Microfilms of newspapers are in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room. Microfilms of serials are in the Microform Readers Services section of the Microform and Electronic Resources Center (LJ 139). Some titles (e.g., Sports Illustrated) are available both as a bound paper copy and on microfilm, and may also be available through one of the Library's subscription databases.