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Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs Division

General Information

Facility: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Address: 101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20540
Phone: (202) 707-6394
FAX: (202) 707-6647
Email: online form
Hours: Hours of Operation

About the collection:

The prints and photographs collection at the Library of Congress is housed in their James Madison Memorial Building. The third library building to be constructed, the Madison Building's planning began in 1957. Its construction was approved in 1965, and began in 1971. The building was officially opened on May 28, 1980.

For more information concerning Japanese items within the print and photograph collection, please contact the Prints & Photographs Reading Room at (202) 707-6394 or by submitting your question through their online form.

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Summary of Collections

Collection size: as of February 2015

The Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress houses over 14 million individual items. These includes photographs, prints, drawings, posters, and architectural or engineering technical drawings. The holdings of the division are international in scope, but focus primarily on the history and interests of the United States.

Notable collections that are viewable online include the Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar, College Women's Association of Japan Print Show Collection, pre-1915 Japanese fine prints, and others.


Online catalog:


A list of collections viewable online, including descriptions. Each collection includes a large number of items that have been digitized with appropriate contextual information.

A collection of guides, collection overviews, division overviews, finding aids, and subject overviews to the Print and Photographs Division's collections.

How to Use the Facility

Using the Collections

All in-person researchers are required to have a Reader Identification Card, issued for free by the Library. These cards can be obtained at the Reader Registration Station in the Madison Building, room LM 140, by presenting a valid driver's license, state ID, or passport and completing the registration process. Researchers must be at least 16 years of age to register. Items cannot be borrowed. For more information, please visit this site or call (202) 707-6394.

Photocopying and Scanning

Photocopying stations are available within the Prints and Photographs Reading Room. However, many materials are too old or fragile to be photocopied. Handheld cameras that do not require additional lights (such as flash photography) or equipment may be used as a substitute for photocopying. Scanning equipment is now allowed due to the light it emits. Copies of images may also be obtained through the Library of Congress's Duplication Services. For more information, please visit this site or call (202) 707-6394.

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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