DC Public Library's Special Collections

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.

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.