People's Archive

People's Archive

The department known as Special Collections, which encompasses Black Studies and Washingtoniana collections as well as the Peabody Room at Georgetown Library, is now officially the People’s Archive. This name culminates years of work to represent the work of all the staff and collections of this department, and to engage the department’s internal and external stakeholders.

People’s Archive better reflects the department’s mission: to connect you to unique resources that illustrate the District of Columbia’s local history and culture. We are a home of discovery, where diverse stories - past and present - are preserved and amplified.

Connect with us online by subscribing to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook at the People's Archive and the Peabody Room.

  • Virtual Reference: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will reopen on Sept. 24, 2020 with limited services. People's Archive is only offering virtual reference services. (Materials will not be available to view in person.) Send us your local history questions by filling out this form or e-mailing us at peoples.archive@dc.gov.  
  • Reproductions and Permissions: See information about using our materials.

  • Digital Collections: Dig DC houses all of our digitized materials; including maps, photos, postcards, pamphlets, historic newspapers, and web archives.  
  • DC Community Archives: Our archives include personal papers, business and organizational records, photographs, and ephemeral items that document local DC history and culture.  
  • Washingtoniana Collection: A variety of special materials including reference books, microfilm, and maps on the history of local life in Washington DC. 
  • Black Studies: A book collection documenting the Black experience in the United States and throughout the African diaspora with an emphasis on civil rights and social justice.
  • Peabody Room: Located on the top floor of Georgetown Library, the Peabody Room holds materials related to Georgetown history.
  • Donation guidelines.

See below for guides on our resources.