Story Tags

Black History of the White House Book Cover

DC Emancipation Day, Census 2020, and Voting

Read and participate

With DC Emancipation Day on April 16, it seems prudent to be thinking about D.C.’s place in this country and the history it has seen, as well as all the people who have shaped it into the city it is today -- and what steps can be taken even now from home to contribute to its future.

DC Emancipation Day

DC Emancipation Day 2020

Online Resources Connecting you to D.C. History

The library has a wide range of online resources for learning about history. Use these ebooks and databases to learn more about Emancipation Day and DC history. All of these resources are available by going to the DC Library web page and using the online catalog or our collection of goDigital databases.

DC Punk Archive Logo

The DC Punk Archive Turns 5!

The DC Punk Archive turns 5 this year!

Oral History Collaborative

Buzzard Point Oral History Project

The Buzzard Point Oral History Project is now available on Dig DC, our web portal for selected digitized and born-digital items from DC Public Library Special Collections. 

Preservation in Action

Preservation in Action 2019

In late June, the American Library Association's Annual Conference & Exhibition took place here in Washington, DC. Librarians from all over came to hear speakers present, learn from each other, and explore the city and its library services.

Pride Day Article from the 1975 edition of the Washington Blade

June is Pride Month

Pride Month Happenings in Special Collections

Under-Uprising: Stonewall 50 at Dupont Underground

Freedom as marronage

Live Free or Die

How does the desire to be free drive human beings to do extraordinary feats of love and courage? When a person’s freedom is abridged or violated, their pursuit of happiness is cut off. Choices then have to be may to secure freedom, a natural right endowed on all life.

The Underground/The Washington Independent

New Collection Acquired: The Underground

Special Collections recently acquired the Underground (which became the Washington Independent) newspaper collection from Francesco DiBaggio, the son of the newspaper’s creator — writer and journalist, Thomas DiBaggio. The paper, which was hand-distributed on the American University campus, was unique for its "free range" criticism, offering a variety of perspectives within its pages.

Finger pointing at a historic plat map

Educators & Students

Now that Washingtoniana has settled into its new interim location, we'd like to invite groups of educators and students from around the city to visit and discover all that our division has to offer. Our collections contain a number of resources that may be useful in the classroom or for specific research projects, such as:   Photographs Maps Books on DC history Vertical files and newspapers Building permits and directories Genealogy and house history resources Archival collections

Barnett Aden Gallery Evening Star newspaper article from October 15, 1943

Barnett Aden Gallery 75th Anniversary: A Conversation with David C. Driskell

October marked the 75th anniversary of the historic Barnett Aden Gallery. Founded by Alonzo Aden and James V. Herring of Howard University and located at 127 Randolph Place NW, it was the first privately-owned black gallery in the United States. The gallery featured the works of artists such as Alma Thomas, Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones and Aaron Douglas. 

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