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Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room: A Guide for Researchers

Plan Your Visit

Location & Hours

Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room
James Madison Building, Room LM-133 (View a map showing location)
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540-4760
View all maps for the Library of Congress

Nearest Metro station: Capitol South (Blue, Orange, and Silver lines), across the street from the Madison Building.
Parking: On-street only, 2 hour limit.

Day Open Hours Last Call for Requesting Materials
Monday 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.
Sunday Closed  

The reading room is closed on Federal Holidays.

Before You Visit

Check with reference staff through Ask-a-Librarian or by calling the reading room at (202) 707-5690 to confirm the availability of specific collection items.

Request off-site or large amounts of materials at least one week in advance.

Pre-register for a Reader Identification Card (optional).

Discuss and request accessibility accommodations by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

What to Expect When You Arrive

  • Pass through airport-like security screening at the entrance to the Madison Building.
  • Proceed to the Cloak Room (Room LM-140) to check coats and bags larger than 9.5 x 6.25 inches. You will be given a clear plastic bag in which to place items you want to bring into the reading room. See 'What Can I Bring?' below.
  • Head to the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room (Room LM-133). Bring your Library of Congress Reader Registration Card.
    • If you don't have a card, stop at the Reader Registration Station located at the entrance to the reading room. More information about this quick process can be found on the Reader Registration website. Researchers must be at least 16 years old, however, younger researchers may be allowed into the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room at the discretion of the reference librarian on duty.
  • Present your Reader Registration Card to the reference librarian on duty, and sign the visitor log.
  • When leaving the reading room, you do not need to sign out, but you will be asked to present any bags to the security guard for inspection.

What Can I Bring?

Items allowed in the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room include:

  • Cameras, for taking photos of collection items only
  • Binders, composition books, notebooks, writing paper
  • Handbags or purses smaller than 9.5” x 6.25”
  • Laptop computers or tablets without cases
  • Mobile phones
  • Pencils and pens
  • Personal books needed for research
  • Service animals
  • Sport coats, suit coats, or sweaters
  • Beverages in covered, spill-proof containers (allowed in a designated area near the self-service newspapers and display periodicals)