Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

D.C. Area Archives and Repositories

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


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List of University Archives/Special Collections

  • Georgetown University Special Collections

         At Georgetown University,  there are a number of special collections on the Main Campus and the Law Center. The Booth Family Center for Special Collections holds the manuscript collections, University Archives, and rare book collections on the Main Campus. The Booth Family Center holds 150,000 rare books and manuscripts on British literature, African American literature, Jesuit history, American History, and the History of Georgetown University. The Booth Family Center is open by appointment only. The Law Center Special Collections contains the Law Center Archives, manuscript collections, rare books, and the National Equal Justice Library. The Law Center's collection has many sources in the areas of Anglo-American legal history, the history of Legal Aid, Native American Law, and the history of the Law Center.  Appointments at the Law Center Special Collections are preferred but not required.

 Georgetown University Library
 37th & O Streets, N.W.
 Washington, D.C. 20057-1174

Georgetown University Law Library
111 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 2000

  • American University Archive and Special Collections
        The University Archives holds the records chronicling over one hundred years of the University’s history. Special collections include a Rare Book collection as well as Performing Arts Collections which includes programs for ballet, opera, orchestra, and theater productions in New York, London, and Washington D.C. In addition, the American University Library also curates some collections such as the Peace Corps Community Archive and the Historic African River Road Connections (HARRC). Open by appointment only.

    Spring Valley Building
    4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 204
    Washington, DC 20016
    Phone: (202) 885-3256


  • Gallaudet University Archives and Deaf Collections

    The Gallaudet University Archives holds the institutional memory of Gallaudet University. The Archive also contains the world’s largest collection of manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts of deaf individuals. The Merrill Learning Center, where the Archives are located, is currently undergoing renovations and is expected to reopen 2024. In the meantime, all requests for physical materials must be submitted via email to the University Archives.

Merrill Learning Center (MLC) B125
202-250-2604 (videophone)

  • Catholic University of America
        Special Collections of the Catholic University of America include four parts: Rare Books, Museum Collections, University Archives, and Manuscript Collections. Catholic University holds around 70,000 volumes including pamphlets from the 1470’s on and 100 incunabula. Rare Books also houses medieval legal documents, papal bulls, choir books, and legal codices. The Manuscript collection chronicles the history of Catholic people in America. Open by appointment.

    Address: 101 Aquinas Hall
    Washington, DC 20064
    Phone: (202) 319-5065


  • George Washington University Special Collections and Archives and the Jacob Burns Law Library Special Collections
        George Washington (GW) University Archival and Manuscript collections are located in two centers: the Special Collections Research Center and the Global Resources Center. The Special Collections Research Center includes the University Archives and collections relating to American labor history; Education;  Judaica and Hebraica; and the history of Washington D.C. The Global Resources Center houses international research materials on a wide variety of political, cultural, and society aspects of countries around the globe. The collections focus mostly on the countries and regions of China; Okinawa and Japan; Taiwan; Korea; Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern and Central Europe; and the Middle East and North Africa. GW University's Law Library also has Special Collections containing 35,000 volumes of legal history from the 15th to 19th century. The Law Library is well known for having one of the largest collection on Early French Law in the U.S. and the Incunabula Collection which focuses on Church Law.

    Special Collections Research Center
    Gelman Library, Suite 704
    2130 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

    Global Resources Center
    Gelman Library, Suite 708
    2130 H Street NW
    Washington, DC 20052

Jacob Burns Law Library
716 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052


  • Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center
        The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center holds one of the largest collections relating to the experiences of people of African descent. The collection has many rare books going back to the 16th century,  first edition works of twentieth century authors, theses, dissertations, newspapers, ephemera, and more. For now open to only Howard University researchers.

    Founders Library. Suite 203
    500 Howard Place, NW
    Washington. DC 20059
    Manuscript Division: 202-806-4446
    University Archives: 202-806-7498

  • George Mason University Special Collections Research Center 

     George Mason University's Special Collections Research Center holds 500 archival collections, 700 artist books, and 14,000 rare books.  The collection's strengths are in the history of George Mason University, the history of Virginia, military conflict analysis/resolution, artist books, and performing arts. Open by appointment only.

Special Collections Research Center
Fenwick Library
4400 University Drive MSN 2FL
Fairfax, VA 22030 
Phone: 703-993-2220