Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Video Conference Programs (Virtual Services, Digital Reference Section)
  HOME >> Videoconferencing
Find in

Videoconferencing with the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress offers interactive programs that introduce the Library’s physical and online materials, resources, and services to researchers, libraries, community and cultural organizations, educators, college and university faculty and students, and lifelong learners.

Programs are free, and may be requested Monday – Friday, minus federal holidays, during normal working hours. Technical requirements include compatibility with a Polycom HDX8000 video conference system and IP or ISDN connectivity.

Orientation to the Digital Library | Researching Digital Collections | Special Interest Programs | Registration Information

Orientation to the Digital Library

Introduction to content areas and search systems on the Web site; includes demonstrations of the various search systems and multimedia content.

Demonstration of the characteristics of the various Library of Congress search systems and advanced search strategies to take advantage of these characteristics.

Researching the Library's Digital Collections

Congress Past & Present: Searching the Early Congressional Documents and
Overview of online holdings and search strategies for congressional records and legislation from 1774-1875 and 1973 to the current congress.

Jumpstarts to Research:
One-hour programs providing an overview of multimedia resources and research strategies on various topics such as:

  • African American Materials in the Digital Collections
  • Local History and Genealogy
  • Poetry Resources at the Library of Congress
  • Music and Dance in American History
  • Presidential Papers at the Library of Congress
  • Women

(Note: Other topics may be requested. Use the Inquiry Form to submit your special request.)

Special Interest Programs

Gathering Community Stories [In collaboration with the American Folklife Center]
Gain a unique perspective on your community's history and cultural identity by gathering oral history interviews. This workshop introduces the layperson to the process of collecting oral histories and focuses on a critical phase of the process, the interview.

The Internet: Fact or Fiction; Web Site Evaluation Strategies
Learn to examine web sites and create evaluation criteria that make the World Wide Web the research tool it can be.

Invisible Ancestors: Ideas & Strategies for Recreating Their Stories [In collaboration with the Local History & Genealogy Reading Room]
Many ancestors - early immigrants and pioneers, slaves, women, native peoples, and others - do not have compiled biographies and are invisible in the historical record, except through the census or other data collection entities. Learn ideas and strategies for recreating their life stories from the Library’s online and physical collections of early travelogues, letters, diaries, other texts and printed ephemera, photographs, other visual media, and maps.

Laurels and Lyrics:  Poetry Resources at the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress Web site is a rich resource for poetry lovers.  This program introduces the Library's many poetry offerings - including web guides on U.S. poets laureate, webcasts of poetry readings, exhibits on famous poets, and, of course, poems themselves - to educators and members of the general public wishing to explore American poetry and its presence in everyday life.

Library of Congress: Jefferson's Legacy to the Nation
Presentation on the history of the Library of Congress.

Maps As Historical Evidence [In collaboration with the Geography and Map Division]
Maps are windows to the cultural, political, and physical world around us. They capture a space in time and define it according to parameters set by the mapmaker for an intended audience. Learn to explore historical maps and discover the surprises they yield.

Registration Information


All programs are free. For ISDN calls, we ask that you dial us, thus any connect charges are yours. We also require a technical check to be performed at least one week prior to the event.


To request a program, complete the Inquiry form. You will be contacted within five business days to arrange the program's time, date, and technical equipment check, and to receive the necessary handouts for the program.

Programs may be scheduled Monday - Friday during normal working hours, Eastern time. Times are flexible and depend on Library staff availability, time zone differences, and varied work schedules across the country.

Most programs are one-hour presentations. Depending on the topic, some can be two-hour interactive workshops if the requesting group has access to Internet-connected computers.

For more information, contact the Digital Reference Section via the Inquiries Form or 202/707-7400.

Technical Requirements

IP or ISDN-based video conferencing capability compatible with the Polycom HDX-8000 system.

For workshops, a computer lab setting with a presentation system viewable by participants; machine-to-participant ratio of 1:2 or 1:1.

Internet browsers should play multimedia files in American Memory. See American Memory Viewer Information at for information.

Your Role

  • Contact us via the Inquiry form to schedule a program.
  • Provide the Library with audience information (essential for program preparation).
  • Facilitate the presentation locally. Have extra support staff to assist in computer lab if used.
  • Create resources and handouts per Library instruction. If needed, download files for the program from the Library Web site prior to the event.
  • Schedule and conduct an equipment compatibility check no later than one week prior to the event.

Library of Congress's Role

  • Tailor the program to meet your needs and goals for your participants.
  • Provide a presenter(s) with expert knowledge in the topic.
  • Provide handouts for the host site to photocopy and distribute.
  • Facilitate the event, with co-facilitation by the host site.
Top of Page Top of Page
  HOME >> Videoconferencing
Find in
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  October 12, 2012
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us