Presidents Day Open House at Library of Congress

Main reading room opens only twice per year

By Samuel Nassau
|  Monday, Feb 18, 2013  |  Updated 1:01 PM EDT
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The bible upon which Abraham Lincoln took his oath of office on March 4, 1861, is on display at the Library of Congress through Feb. 18.

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The Library of Congress will open its Main Reading Room to the public on Presidents Day -- one of only two such events the Library has all year.

The room will be open until 3 p.m. Monday.

Located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, the Main Reading Room is an entryway for many researchers into the library's vast catalog. Its reference collection includes about 70,000 volumes.

Typically, a Library of Congress tour offers only a peek at the room.

In the room, reference librarians will show off the library's many resources, from on-site collections to references online. Librarians can also demonstrate services they use in family history research.

The Jefferson building will stay open to the public until 4:30, and visitors can take a tour or freely view the building's other exhibitions.

Specifically, you can see Abraham Lincoln's first Inaugural bible -- which President Barack Obama also used while taking the Oath of Office -- and the initial draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. Monday is the last day these items will be on display.

Visitors are encouraged to bring cameras to the event and then post photos to Flickr with the tag LCspringopen13.

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