The Library of Congress's mission is to engage, inspire, and inform Congress and the American people with a universal and enduring source of knowledge and creativity. Our vision is that all Americans are connected to the Library of Congress. Our websites offer public access to a wide range of information, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.
Materials displayed on our websites are intended for reference use only. Our websites link to other federal agencies’ and other organizations’ websites when there is a business reason to do so. The links are not endorsements of the content of the websites, or of their policies or products.
To maintain the security of our websites, and to ensure that they remain available to you, we use software programs to monitor network traffic. The programs identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, deny service, or otherwise cause damage or access non-public information. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the United States criminal code (18 U.S.C. 1030). We may provide information about possible violations of the law to law enforcement officials.
We reserve the right to block IP addresses that fail to honor our websites’ robot.txt files, or submit requests at a rate that negatively impacts service delivery to patrons. Current guidelines recommend that software programs submit a total of no more than 10 requests per minute to our applications, regardless of the number of machines used to submit requests. We also reserve the right to terminate programs that require more than 24 hours to complete.
The community of security researchers plays an important and vital role in information technology (IT) security. The Library of Congress welcomes reports from security researchers, and encourages researchers to report any vulnerabilities they discover in Library web applications as soon as possible. This page provides a set of public rules and guidelines for researchers to report potential vulnerabilities in the Library’s public-facing websites and how the Library will work with a researcher after a vulnerability has been validated.
As a publicly supported institution, we generally do not own the rights to materials in our collections. You should determine for yourself whether or not an item is protected by copyright or in the public domain, and then satisfy any copyright or use restrictions when publishing or distributing materials from our collections. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond what is allowed by fair use or other exemptions requires written permission from the copyright holder.
If you have more information about material on our websites or are able to provide specific, additional information about the copyright status of a particular item in our collection, please contact us at https://ask.loc.gov/ or at the address listed in the “About this Collection” entry for the item. If you are the copyright holder and believe our websites have not properly attributed your work or have used it without permission, please firstname.lastname@example.org? with your contact information and a link to the relevant content.
Protecting our patrons’ personal information is important. We collect, use, and share information obtained from online visitors only in the following ways:
- We collect personal information when you voluntarily provide it to the Library through our websites or when you grant third parties permission to allow the Library's uses of your personal information
- We use personal information only for its intended purpose
- We may disclose personal information to contractors or associates to carry out your requests (for example, to complete a pay.gov transaction)
- We will not otherwise disclose personal information to outside parties, including other government agencies, without first obtaining permission from you, unless disclosure is required by law or court order or to protect the website itself
- We provide a safe online environment for children in accordance with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) principles (detailed below)
- We have safeguards in place to protect the information collected
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with hundreds of millions of items in its collections. Many of these items are made available digitally to users on our websites. Because of the wide breadth and variety of our collections, it is possible that some online collections items contain personally identifiable information. Regardless of the format in which our collections materials are presented to users, all users are responsible for complying with all privacy and publicity rights, rules, and applicable laws when accessing and utilizing the collections.
December 17, 2020