The Library of Congress (LOC) is a dream destination for many U.S. genealogy researchers. It’s home to millions of books, maps, city directories,

Library of Congress

“LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith” by Carol M. Highsmith – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID highsm.11604.

photographs and other materials that can help us better understand our ancestors’ lives.

A guided walking tour of the LOC will take an hour (and a trip to Washington, D.C.), but the videos below introduce you to the library and its online resources in seven minutes.

Bonus: there’s a third two-minute video below with the fastest introduction to  analyzing primary sources you’ve ever seen. Click below to watch!

VIDEO: The Library of Congress Is Your Library. This four-minute video introduces the Library of Congress and gives a brief history. 

VIDEO: Exploring This three-minute video highlights the Library’s online collections and provides searching techniques. If you haven’t searched the Library of Congress website for items relating to your U.S. family history, take a few minutes and try it now!

VIDEO: Analyzing a Primary Source. This two-minute video offers a a short primary source analysis activity. It’s meant for teachers but it’s a great reminder for family historians on how we look at old documents.


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