Special Collections Interim Access & Services

Special Collections Interim Access & Services

During the MLK Library Modernization


Unique Washingtoniana collections and reference materialsthose not readily available at other local institutionsare accessible during the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library modernization. Visit Dig DC online to see our digitized collections. Please sign up for the Special Collections email list to receive announcements about interim services, events and new collections.

Location and Hours

Washingtoniana reference services open at an interim location, 4340 Connecticut Ave. NW, on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. 

Appointments can be scheduled Tuesday or Thursday between 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.; and on the first and third Saturday of the month. We also have walk in hours between 2 -- 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

Onsite Collections

The following collections will be available for use during walk in hours. Please request an appointment if you would like collections pulled before your visit by e-mailing wash.dcpl@dc.gov or calling (202)727-1213.  

  • Evening Star Photo Collection - All subject folders are accessible onsite. Biographical folders must be requested in advance. Contact staff for more details.

  • DC Historical Image Collection - Entire collection is accessible.

  • Vertical Files - All subject files are accessible.

  • Book Collection - Washingtoniana books focusing on neighborhoods and not duplicated at the Historical Society are accessible. To see the selected titles, go to the catalog at dclibrary.org and check "Washingtoniana Library" under Library.

  • Historic Building Permits (microfilm) - Permits from 1877 to 1949 are accessible.

  • Directories (microfilm) - City directories (1822-1973), Haines Criss-Cross directories (1974-present) and telephone directories (1907-present) are accessible.

  • Historic D.C. Newspapers (microfilm) - Historic local newspapers not available digitally are accessible on microfilm.

  • Tax Assessment Directories (microfilm) - Tax assessments (1874-2010) and Lusk’s sales directories are accessible.

  • Genealogy Materials - Print resources and D.C. marriage records (microfiche) are accessible.

Collections Available by Request

The following collections will be available for use by appointment only. Request an appointment by e-mailing archives.dcpl@dc.gov or calling (202)727-1213. Please allow three days for transporting collections to our interim space.


Collections available at the Peabody Room

The DC Punk Archive collections are now accessible by appointment in the Peabody Room at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library. You can see the other collections available at the Peabody Room here.


The Black Studies Center

A re-imagined Black Studies Center will be included in the new MLK Library when it reopens in 2020. Select books from Black Studies Center are available for check out at Woodridge Neighborhood Library


For legal, legislative, and government resources: 

University of the District of Columbia, Mason Law Library
4200 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Reference: 202-274-6280
Info: 202-274-7310
Public visitors must sign in with photo ID. 
Open hours (subject to change): Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. -  6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 - 8 p.m.
Reference hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Howard University Law Library
2929 Van Ness St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
Reference: 202-806-8208
Info: 202-806-8045
Public visitors may use materials within the library. 
Hours (subject to change): Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

For books, maps, periodicals and other resources related to Washingtoniana or Black Studies:

Library of Congress 
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540
Info: 202-707-5000
Public visitors over age 16 must register for a Reader Card with photo ID. 
Local History and Genealogy Reference Center (Jefferson Building)
Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room (Madison Building)

George Washington University, Gelman Library Washingtoniana Center
2130 H Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20052
Info: 202-994-7549
Call in advance regarding public access. 

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