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Did You Say Bigger Than A Football Field?

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Law Library Closed Stacks

If you’ve never visited the Law Library of Congress or our Reading Room, you might not know some of the more interesting things about us. We  only have about 1% of our law collection in the Reading Room itself. Patrons can browse these books and select items of interest from the shelves. Patrons can also ask for assistant from our experienced and knowledgeable staff. In addition, we offer access to select legal databases on our computers. The rest of the collection is in the closed stacks or in off-site storage. The Law Library’s closed stacks (beneath the Madison Building), as seen on the left, consist of almost two football fields of compact shelving.

Request Slip

Visitors are not allowed to just wander around in the closed stacks. Staff are even required to have a stacks pass. To request a book, patrons fill out a request slip with, at minimum, the call number, author, title, and their reader registration number of the item they wish to see. Materials from the stacks are delivered to the reading room in about 45 minutes. If the materials are stored off-site at Ft. Meade, the request will take less than a day to deliver.

Our website has more information about visiting the Law Library Reading Room, Reading Room Services, and Items to Bring to the Reading Room.  Remember to bring your Reader Identification Card.

P.S. We also have free wifi in the Reading Room!

Comments (19)

  1. so how big is a football field?

    • The American football field measures 100 by 53 1/3 yd (91.4 by 48.8 m). For more information, please see Length of a Football Field (American).

  2. Always the reference Librarian, Christine :).

  3. Have you digitally scanned all of the books or are you planning to?

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