A Rare Photographic Opportunity

The following is a guest post from Michelle Springer in the Office of Strategic Initiatives.

The Main Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith

On Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, you’re invited to a special public event. Twice each year, the Library of Congress opens its magnificent Main Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., for a special public open house. This is a unique opportunity to take photographs in one of the most beautiful public spaces in Washington D.C., not normally open to photographers. (Sorry, no tripods.)

In July last year as part of the Library’s Flickr Team, I had the opportunity to participate in the Library’s first Photography Meetup, where we invited photography enthusiasts to come and take pictures of the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Everyone had a lot of fun looking closely at all the decorative elements in the Hall, and it gave all the participants a new way to experience the beauty of this grand public space. Participants were also invited to upload their photos to Flickr with a special tag, which the Flickr team then linked to in galleries on the Library’s Flickr account.

We’re offering a similar opportunity with the Open House. Come and experience a palace of knowledge and try out your own photographic eye on the Main Reading Room. Upload your photos to your Flickr account with the tag LOCspring2013 and we’ll create galleries on the Library’s Flickr Commons account to share your images from the day.

Can’t attend?  You can take an online tour of the Library through this set of photos from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive. Carol has taken more than 500 photos of the Library buildings! Her great eye will help you enjoy aerial views taken from a helicopter, close-ups ceiling murals shot from tall scaffolds, and perspective-corrected scenes of the grand interior spaces.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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  1. Bobby Wright
    February 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    May I offer my best wishes to all on this wonderful day. It is truly something to be proud of. As in all areas the work of The Library is to be commended and praised.

  2. Bronwen Colquhoun
    February 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Fantastic! No doubt it will attract many talented photographers once again. Looking forward to seeing the new galleries on the Library’s Flickr Commons account!

  3. Ray Fowler
    February 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    It will be my great pleasure to be able to go into the Main Reading Room and shoot images of all the architecture and depositories in that great room. Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity to collect images ot the room and stacks which are not usually avaiable to the public. Ray Fowler

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