Washington, D.C. Historical Image Collection

Washington, D.C. Historical Image Collection

15,000 images, ca. 1800-current, bulk 1880-1960

Thomas Circle, ca. 1890, Historical Image Collection

The library has accepted donations, purchased, and collected images for the Historical Image Collection since the early 1920s. The Library does not hold copyright for all images in the collection, but many are in the public domain. It is the responsibility of the user to determine copyright, if any. Please review information on how to obtain Image Reproductions & Permissions for images from this collection. You can view a copy of the permission form.

A subject heading list is available in the Washingtoniana Room. 


  • Washington, D.C., streets
  • Federal buildings 
  • Federal monuments and memorials
  • Houses and estates
  • Commercial buildings
  • Early Washingtonians

More Images at Flickr and our digital galleries.