The People's Archive

The People's Archive

The People’s Archive is the library's local history center. We include the Black Studies and Washingtoniana collections at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library; and the Peabody Room at Georgetown Library. We can be reached at 

Our mission is 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.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
4th Floor East

Monday-Thursday: 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Georgetown Library
3rd Floor

Tuesday: 10:00 a.m - 6:00 p.m.
Thursday: 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
1st Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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

  • Reference: Ask local history questions, request scans of our materials, or plan for your visit by filling out this form. Please note in addition to the DC Public Library Rules of Behavior, visitors must follow these rules:
    • No eating or drinking allowed
    • All belongings must be stored in lockers, except for pencils, loose leaf paper, and electronic devices
    • Do not treat materials in any way that could cause damage
    • Only one archival container or folder used at a time
    • Images taken by researchers can only be for personal use 
    • For publication an reproductions, speak with staff regarding fees and permission
    • Researchers are encouraged to donate a copy of any work that is the result of research at the People's Archive 
  • 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.