For student research: A brief Guide to the Library of Congress' online collections

Are you assigning a research project to your classes, post-SOLs or otherwise? Even young students will enjoy browsing the Library of Congress' online collections for information and sources material, no matter the subject. This week, we offer a step-by-step guide to accessing digitized maps and photographs, letters, diaries and newspapers, personal accounts of events, sound recordings and historic films:

Step one: go to the Library of Congress home page:

Step two: at the top of the page, click on "Discover"

Step three: click on "Digital Collections" and browse the collection thumbnails - 168 in all.

Step four: The number of items in each collection appears in parentheses. To see them, click on view items. Click on "about" for general information.

Step five: Try the various ways to view the items: list, gallery or grid. Each will have a bibliographic record. For some of the older collections from American Memory, you may need to click "View All" in the sidebar.

Can't find what you are looking for? You can Ask a Librarian, a free service of