Twice each year, the Library of Congress opens its magnificent Main Reading Room for a special public open house. The fall open house will take place on the federal Columbus Day holiday, Monday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and photography will be allowed. The Main Reading Room is located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. Reference librarians will be available to demonstrate the Library’s online resources and discuss access to the Library’s vast onsite collections, including services and collections for use in family history research. No other reference services will be available and all other Library of Congress reading rooms and buildings will be closed.

The Jefferson Building, which will be open to the public between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., also features the incomparable Great Hall and the Library of Congress exhibitions, which include “Exploring the Early Americas”. Included in this exhibition are Columbus and Explorers; Columbus’s Voyage and the New World; Columbus’s Book of Privileges; and Columbus and the Taíno displays. Exhibitions at the Library of Congress provide innovative access to rare cultural treasures in ways that inspire and engage.

Unreserved guided tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building will be offered at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Each tour is limited to 40 people and designed to accommodate individuals and families, not large groups. More information about the Library, the exhibitions and tours is available at the orientation desks at www.loc.gov/visit/ or by calling (202) 707-8000.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov .