Using the Library of Congress Online: A Guide for Middle and High School Students
The Library’s website (LOC.gov) provides open access to a wide variety of digital primary and secondary sources of interest to researchers of all ages. This guide provides links to these resources and search tools, as well as strategies for their use.
Have a question? Need assistance? Use our online form to ask a librarian for help.
Danna Bell, Educational Resources Specialist, Center for Learning, Literacy & Engagement
Laura Berberian, Reference Librarian, Researcher & Reference Services
Kaleena Black, Educational Resources Specialist, Center for Learning, Literacy & Engagement
Naomi Coquillon, Chief of Informal Learning And Engagement Design, Center for Learning, Literacy, & Engagement
Created: July 28, 2020
Last Updated: January 5, 2022
The Minerva's Kaleidoscope Blog connects kids, families and teens to the collections and resources of the Library. We hope to inspire you to use the Library of Congress for your own creative purposes.
The website of the Library of Congress offers many resources to support researchers of all ages. Although you do need to be at least 16 years old (*see note below) to access the Library's Main Reading Room, and other select reading rooms, in person, there is still plenty that you can access online.
This guide provides links to primary and secondary sources, as well as information on citing sources, formatting papers, strategies for searching, and types of sources. In short, it is designed to help you identify and use online resources from the Library of Congress for a range of research projects—inside or outside the classroom.
If you have specific questions, you can always contact a Library of Congress reference librarian, via the "Ask-a-Librarian" feature on the left side of the page. You can also find links to websites to help you with assignments that have been recommended by Library of Congress staff here. Let us know how we can help!
To get you started, if you’re looking for some examples of researchers who have used the Library’s collections in their projects, these might be of interest.
Watch the video below featuring former Library of Congress teen interns who describe ways to access Library of Congress materials online, and share some of their favorite collections, resources, and research finds.