DC Public Library's Special Collections
Our mission is to collect, preserve and provide access to collections and materials of historical importance documenting the social, cultural and political life of the District of Columbia; and connect the community to its history and culture through creative engagement and public programming.
Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly announcements. We are also on Facebook at Washingtoniana, the Black Studies Center, and the Peabody Room.
See all our locations, hours, and contact information.
- Reference: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your local history research questions; or write to email@example.com with questions about our archival collections. Details on collections access during the modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library can be found here.
- Reproductions and Permissions: See information about using our materials in publications or exhibits.
- Events: Find our classes and workshops, held throughout the city.
- Class Visits are welcome at Washingtoniana or the Peabody Room. Staff are also available for school visits. Please schedule by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Volunteers: We are currently seeking volunteers. Contact us for more details.
A majority of our collections are available during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library renovation.
- Digital Collections: Dig DC houses all of our digitized Special Collections materials; including maps, photos, postcards, pamphlets, and historic newspapers.
- DC Community Archives: Our archives include personal papers, business and organizational records, photographs, and ephemeral items that document local DC history and culture. Please note most of our archival collections are currently stored offsite, and require an appointment.
- Washingtoniana Collection: Select materials from the Washingtoniana Collection are available at our interim location; including books, photos, and maps. See more details on available materials.
- Black Studies Center: Select books from our Black Studies Collection are available at Woodridge Library.
- 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.
- House History Resources Guide
- Genealogy Resource Guide
- Neighborhood Research Guide
- Newspapers in Special Collections
- Prints and Photographs
- DC Punk Archive
- Oral Histories
- Resource Guide for Teachers
- Washingtoniana Map Collection - Please note many of these materials are not available until after the renovation of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.
- Resource Lists