Library Of Congress
Teacher Productivity

Carol LaRow

Contact: 518-377-8332


Library Of Congress Sites For Teachers And Students

Photo Sources: Public Domain

The Library of Congress (LOC) was started as a research library for the U. S. Congress in 1800. It is located in Washington, D.C. and is considered to have one of the largest collections in the World. It was started when President John Adams established it as the "Library of the United States." Although it is primarily used by scholars
researchers, and the government, it's open to the public, and anyone can use its resources.

In addition, the Library of Congress has resources for teachers and students. There are pages devoted to the following:


The Library of Congress' primary mission is serving the research needs of the U.S. Congress. However, the Library serves all Americans through its popular Web site and in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill.

The LOC is largest library in the United States, located in Washington, D.C., and maintained largely by federal appropriations. Its original purpose was to provide research facilities for members of Congress; today it serves the public as well. Most copyrighted publications are catalogued by the Library of Congress, whose classification system is used by major libraries around the country. It also houses many collections and artifacts that are in the public domain, making them accessible to the public.

Digital Collections

The Library of Congress has digitized its collections so that they are available online for the public. The goal was to make its collections more accessible to people.

The Digital Collections section of the library acts as a valuable resource for teachers and students. The collections can be used for research, teaching lessons, self-paced studying, and personal enjoyment.

The Digital Collections include photos, maps, manuscripts, books, music sheets, and more. 

A few of the collections are listed below:

Classroom Materials

Classroom Materials has several resources for teachers and students. The resources are searchable by grade level, topics, keywords, or resource type. There are a wide variety of resources that can be used for classes. The resources are searchable and browsable.

In the left sidebar, teachers can sort by: 

Some of the resources are:

Lesson Plans

Classroom Materials has Lesson Plans for teachers, organized by topic, era, recommended grade level, and more. There are 92 lessons posted, and more are being added all the time.

In the left sidebar, on the Classroom Materials page, click on "Lesson Plan." The image at the left shows the "grid view" of some of the lessons. 

Students can be directed to the "student tab" in the lesson that has the following:

Today In History

There is a "Listen to This Page" feature on each page of "Today in History."

America's Story

America's Story - originally intended for younger children, but the older ones like it too. Students an search this area by keywords and explore some of the following topics:

Amazing Americans - Discover things you may not know about Abraham Lincoln and what he had in his pockets the day he was assassinated, the heroism of Harriet Tubman, the inventions of Thomas Edison, and more.

Jump Back In Time - find settlers who landed on Plymouth Rock, jump back to a time period of your choosing, see what happened on the day you were born, and more

Explore the States - find fascinating facts and stories about all the states and Washington, D.C.

See, Hear, and Sing - see how the first cartoons were started and then animated. Learn about unusual musical instruments and how they influenced today's instruments, and more.

Learn more about this site


Exhibitions - See some of the actual exhibits housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. See exhibits on topics such as:

Prints and Photographs

Prints and Photographs - from the LOC's online catalogs. The online catalog provides access to about 65% of the Division's holdings, as well as to some images found in other units of the LOC. Many of the catalog records are accompanied by digital images - about one million digital images in all.

Some of the images in the catalog are NOT in the public domain. Read the site carefully before you download and use images you find.

This is a great resource for student projects and teacher lessons!

Blogs: Primary Sources & Ideas For Educators

Library of Congress Blogs helps teachers as they use the LOC's resources. The LOC has millions of primary sources available for free online. See how teaching with primary sources is a powerful way to have students "engage" with course content, build critical thinking skills, and incorporate information into their learning styles.

Online Map Collection

Photo Source: Library Of Congress - Robert Sayer And John Bennett, Holland, S. & Pownall, T. (1776). Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

Map Collection - Browse through maps, charts, and atlases of different time periods in our history. See the National Parks, Civil War maps, panoramic maps, and much more. 

Some of the maps can be interactive. For example, you can zoom right down to the street level of Colonial America. 

Each map will give you information such as:

Map Of The 13 Original Colonies

Ask A Librarian

Ask A Librarian - Librarians and program specialists are ready to help. You may pose questions, which go into a collaborative reference service. You will receive a reply within five business days.

News From The Library Of Congress

News From The Library Of Congress - LOC highlights current events and places in the news. The page provides pictures and information about topics in the news. There is a geography and map division.

You will find:


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