Library of Congress (LoC)

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Library of Congress (LoC)

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • International
  • Community

Contact area


Library of Congress



Street address

101 Independence Ave


Washington, D.C


Country name

United States

Postal code



(202) 707-5000





Description area


In 1800, as part of an act of Congress providing for the removal of the new national government from Philadelphia to Washington, President John Adams approved an act of Congress providing $5,000 for books for the use of Congress—the beginning of the Library of Congress. A Joint Congressional Committee—the first joint committee—would furnish oversight. In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson approved a legislative compromise that made the job of Librarian of Congress a presidential appointment, giving the Library of Congress a unique relationship with the American Presidency. Jefferson named the first two Librarians of Congress, each of whom also served as the clerk of the House of Representatives.

The 20th century would see that magnificent building welcome increased staff, diverse multimedia collections and a steady stream of new patrons. Most of this progress was shaped by Herbert Putnam, who was appointed Librarian of Congress in 1899, as the country entered the Progressive Era.

With President Roosevelt’s endorsement, a vote of confidence through an increased annual budget from Congress and the space provided by an attractive new annex building (today known as the John Adams Building), Putnam pursued his plan with what others described as “energetic nationalism.” The result, between 1901 and 1928, was a series of new national library services, research publications, and catalogs, cultural functions and new offices.
Having weathered two world wars, expanded its collections and constructed a second building, the Library of Congress approached the 1960s on firm footing. Challenges lay ahead, however, for a new global era of growth was underway. In response, the Library gradually took on a new international role. Hallmarks of the period were a continuation of post-World War II interest in international affairs (especially in relations with Soviet Union, Africa and Asia), accelerated technological change in all walks of life, and increased funding for libraries and research materials in the United States and abroad.

In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated librarian Carla Hayden, chief executive officer of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, to be the 14th Librarian of Congress. The first woman and African-American to serve as Librarian, she inherited a unique, global institution, widely known for its free, non-partisan service to Congress, librarians, scholars, and the public—in the United States and around the world.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies



Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Access conditions and requirements


Services area

Research services

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

ISDIAH, 1st edition, 2008. Available online:

Date format: ISO 8601, 2nd edition, 2000.


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entry prepared in December 2021 and revised in January 2022




The historical section includes complete passages from the Libray of Congress website : Library of Congress, "History of the Library of Congress", [Online], accessed in December 2021. URL:

Maintenance notes

Entry prepared by Archival City

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

101 Independence Ave
Washington, D.C
US 20540