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D.C. Area Archives and Repositories

An introduction to archives and repositories in the Washington DC area.


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List of Public Library/Historical Society Repositories

     The DAR Library,  founded in 1896,  serves as one of the largest genealogical libraries in the country. The collection contains over 225,000 books, 10,000 research files, thousands of manuscript items, and nearly 40,000 family histories. In person visitation is allowed.

1776 D Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
Contact Phone: (202) 628-177

    The DC History Center is a non-profit organization with a collection focused on history in the local DC area. There are a wide variety of materials including manuscripts, maps, yearbooks, ephemera, oral histories, photographs, postcards, and artwork. The DC History Center also holds the Records of the Columbia Historical Society which was later named the Historical Society of Washington DC. In addition, the DC History Center holds the physical collections of the Rainbow History Project which documents the history of the LGBTQ community in the DC area. Non-circulating collections are located in the Kiplinger Research Center in the Carnegie Library building and are open by appointment only. 

DC History Center
801 K Street Northwest, Washington, DC
Library and Research Inquiries email:
Contact Phone: (202) 516-1363, Ext. 302

  • District of Columbia Public Library: the People’s Archive
        The local history resources for the DC public library is known collectively as the People’s Archive. The collections within the People’s Archive include Digital Collections, the DC Community Archives, the Washingtoniana Collection, Black Studies, and the Peabody Room. These collections offer great resources for local DC area history. Black Studies and Washingtoniana collections are located at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library while the Peabody Room is found in Georgetown Neighborhood Library.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library
901 G St. NW
Washington,  D.C.  20001
Contact email:
Contact Phone: (202) 727-1213

Georgetown Neighborhood Library
3260 R St. NW
Washington,  D.C.  20007
Contact email:
Contact phone: (202) 727-0233

  • District of Columbia Archives and Office of Public Records and Archives
        The District of Columbia Archives contains the DC government records of historical value. Included in the records are birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, wills, land records, Board of Health minutes, Board of Commissioners reports, and many more. The Office of Public Records and Archives holds the records of the District's government including administrative, architectural, fiscal, and legal records.

1300 Naylor Court, NW 
Washington, DC  20001
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: (202) 671-1105

    Founded in 1894, the Historical Society of Washington D.C. is dedicated to the preservation of local history. The Kiplinger Research Library holds more than 100,000 photographic prints; 700 archives and manuscript collections; and a collection of art and artifacts. Items in the collection range from maps to ephemera to broadsides. The Historical Society has their own magazine: Washington History. Researchers are welcome by prior appointment Monday through Thursday.

801 K Street, NW at Mount Vernon Square
Washington, DC 20001
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  202-249-3955

     The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives is the official museum and archives for DC public schools. The archives hold board meeting minutes, maps, photos, student registers, and teacher ledgers.

201 17th Street Northwest,
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
Contact Phone: (202) 730-0478