Research Repositories | Washington D.C.
800 Maine Avenue, S.W., Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 200024.
Library and Archive: Organized by the American Psychiatric Association, the Melvin Sabshin, M.D. Library & Archives houses an important collection of around 1,700 rare books, 200 artifacts, and 550 photographs and oral histories documenting the history of psychiatry and the APA.
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016
Library and Archive: American University Archives and Special Collections chronicle the history of American University from 1893 to present. The Special Collections feature several collections of rare published and printed resources on a variety of topics, including art, Japanese history and culture, mathematics, music, and religion. Appointments are strongly recommended and research inquiries are taken in person, by telephone, and by their email.
1901 Fort Place, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20020
Museum: Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the Anacostia Community Museum explores social issues impacting diverse populations of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. This museum examines, documents, and interprets the impact of historical and contemporary social issues on urban communities. Admission is free.
8th and F Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004
Archive: Part of the Smithsonian Institute, the Archives of American Art consists of more than 20 million letters, diaries, scrapbooks, manuscripts, financial records, photographs, films, and audiovisual recordings that detail American culture over the past 200 years. Admission is free.
1776 D Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006.
Library: The DAR library is a specialized collection of American genealogical and historical manuscripts and publications, along with special collections of genealogy, culture, and African American, Native American, and women’s history. The stacks of this library are almost completely open, free, and available to all visitors.
1300 Naylor Court, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004
Archive: The District of Columbia Archives is managed and administered through the Office of Public Records and Archives, holding collections of administrative, architectural, engineering, fiscal, genealogical, historical, and legal records. Researchers must schedule appointments in advance, to make an appointment email above address.
1703 32nd Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007
Research Institute, Library, Museum: Dumbarton Oaks is a Harvard University research institute, library, museum, and garden located in Washington, D.C. The museum houses world-class collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art, and a third collection that centers on the historic garden created by Mildred Bliss. The Dumbarton Rare Book and Image collections require appointments that can be scheduled online.
Freer Gallery of Art:
Jefferson Drive S.W. & 12th Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20560
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery:
1050 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20560
Art Gallery: Part of the Smithsonian Institution, both the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery house a collection of American art, and more than forty thousand objects dating from the Neolithic period to today. Admission is free.
511 10th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004
Historic Site: Ford Theatre, the location where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, now operates as a museum about President Lincoln, his assassination, and the event’s historical significance. Tickets are required, but are free.
800 Florida Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002
Academic Library and Archive: Gallaudet University Archives is responsible for the institutional memory of the University and strives to preserve the memory of the global Deaf Community. Included in this collection are artifacts, photographs, films, papers, periodicals, books, and other items. Outside researchers are encouraged to email prior to their arrival.
1307 New Hampshire Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.
Museum: The Heurich House Museum is located in the Christian Heurich Mansion, also known as the Brewmaster’s Castle, a Gilded Age mansion in Dupont Circle. This museum offers a glimpse at the Gilded Age wealth of the early twentieth century through its preservation of the house and its presentation of several Heurich family collections. Tours are available, with a suggested donation of $10, but research requires the submission of a research request form which is accessible online.
801 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001
Library: The Kiplinger Research Library is a non-circulating, special collections repository overseen by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. The Historical Society helps to make accessible the local history of D.C.’s many diverse and vibrant communities. Access to the library can be secured by appointment.
Founders Library, 500 Howard Place N.W., Washington, D.C. 20059.
Library and Archive: The Moorland Spingarn Research Center is a special collection of Black related historical documents, largely collected from the personal libraries of Dr. Jesse E. Moorland and Arthur B. Spingarn, housed at Howard University. Appointments can be made at the Moorland Spingarn website.
101 Independence Avenue, S.E., James Madison Building, Room LM 242, Washington, D.C. 20540
Library: Established in 1832 by Congress, the Law Library has grown over the years to become the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes spanning the ages and covering virtually every jurisdiction in the world. The Law library is open to those with a Reader Identification Card. More information about obtaining this card can be found on the Library of Congress website.
101 Independence Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20540
Phone: (202) 707-5000
As the largest library in the world, today's Library of Congress is an unparalleled resource. The collection of more than 168 million items includes more than 39 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 72 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings. Access is available through the Library’s more than 20 research centers, which are organized around broad subjects, special formats, or areas of the world (see website for varied reading room hours). Bring photo ID to acquire a Researcher’s Identification Card. Some special collection items may require advance arrangements to view; questions via the Ask A Librarian service are encouraged.
Emerson G Reinsch Library, Marymount University, 2807 North Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22207.
Archive: Marymount University Archives is the official memory unit of the University. The Archives preserve all types of materials documenting the growth and development of the University since its beginning as a two-year college for women in 1950. Visiting the Archives requires an appointment.
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20408
Archive: The National Archives and Records Administration is the Nation's record keeper. This facility preserves and makes accessible valuable documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government. Admission is free and reservations are not required.
1 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001
Museum: The National Guard Memorial Museum covers over 375 years of Guard history, beginning with the first muster in 1636 and ending with the current foreign and domestic missions that Guardsmen carry out today. Research Requests can be submitted online at the Museum’s website.
8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894
Archive: The National Library of Medicine collects, preserves, and makes available a wide variety of historical material related to health and disease. Historical collections include Archives & Modern Manuscripts, Films & Videos, Prints & Photographs, and Rare Books & Journals, as well as a number of digital collections that are available online. The Library has two Reading Rooms accessible to the public as well as a general collection accessible with a library card that can be obtained onsite with a valid photo I.D.
1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560
Library Telephone: 202-633-7498
Museum and Library: As part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. The NMAAHC Library is devoted to collecting and providing access to resources that support scholarship in African American history, culture, and the African Diaspora, while also supporting research in genealogy and family history. Admission to the Museum and Library are free, but the Museum requires timed-entry passes for certain peak times, and research appointments are required for Library visits.
950 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20560.
Museum: Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of African Art is a facility dedicated to inspiring conversation about the beauty, power, and diversity of African arts and cultures worldwide. The museum has a collection of 9,000 pieces, including sacred objects, textiles, ancient Egyptian carvings, and musical instruments. Admission is free.
Constitution Avenue, NW, Between 12th and 14th Streets, Washington, D.C.
Library Telephone: 202-633-3865
Archives Center Telephone: 202-633-3270
Museum: As part of the Smithsonian Institution, The National Museum of American History (NMAH) is home to over 1.8 million objects, including the original Star-Spangled Banner, Abraham Lincoln's top hat, the first computer bug, and much much more. Admission is free.
Library: The NMAH is also home to more than 3 miles of archival collections, supporting research in all areas of American history, including social, cultural, political, and economic events and development, along with their impact on everyday American life; advances in technology, including machinery and transportation; scientific and medical history. The NMAH Library is located in room 5016 of the musem, Admission is free, but research appointments are required.
Archives Center: The Archives Center collections are particularly rich in the areas of technology, consumer culture including advertising and marketing, invention and innovation, popular music, African American history and culture, and many other topics that document the American experience. Located in the NMAH, Admission is free, but research appointments are required.
Fourth Street & Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, DC 20560
Museum: As part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of the American Indian works in partnership with Native peoples and their allies to foster a richer shared human experience through a more informed understanding of Native Peoples. Admission is free.
1811 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009
Archive and Museum: Created by an act of Congress in 1958, the National Museum of American Jewish Military History documents and preserves the contributions of Jewish Americans to the peace and freedom of the United States, educates the public concerning the courage, heroism, and sacrifices made by Jewish Americans who serve in the armed forces, and works to combat anti-Semitism. Admission is free.
1250 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005
Museum: The National Museum of Women in the Arts brings to light important women artists of the past while promoting great women artists working today. This museum has a collection of more than 5,000 objects and maintains a 17,500-volume library and research center. Ticket prices vary, and can be found on the Museum’s website.
2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 2002
Museum: Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Postal Museum showcases the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world—including postal stationery, vehicles used to transport the mail, mailboxes, meters, cards and letters, and postal materials that predate the use of stamps. Admission is free.
144 Constitution Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002.
Headquarters and Collection Repository: The National Woman’s Party collection housed at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is an important resource for the study of the suffrage movement and the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment. This collection documents the mass political movement for women’s full citizenship in the 20th century. There are many free guided tours daily and the Feminist library is accessible by appointment.
3260 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007.
Public Library: Part of the D.C. Public Library’s Special Collections Department, the Peabody Room is a special collection of Georgetown Neighborhood history. It includes subject vertical files, photographs, maps, neighborhood microfilmed newspapers, paintings, engravings, and artifacts documenting various aspects of Georgetown life. Appointments can be made but are not required.
750 Ninth Street, N.W., Suite 2100, Washington, D.C. 20001
Library: The Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery(AA/PG) Library is a leading library for the study in American art, holding strong collections in American and European Art, American history and biography, and American Crafts. The AA/PG Library is open to public researchers and also offers online access.
SAAM: 8th and F Streets, NW Washington, DC 20004
Renwick Gallery: Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW, Washington DC 20006
Museum and Art Gallery: The SAAM is split into two different historic buildings in D.C. The museum’s main building holds collections spanning from the colonial period to today, while the Renwick Gallery acts as a gallery for contemporary American art.
2118 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20008.
Library and Museum: The Society of the Cincinnati holds a library collection with printed and manuscript materials covering the military and naval history of the eighteenth century, with a focus on the American Revolution. The society also holds museum collections on the Revolutionary War, the Society of the Cincinnati, and where the society’s headquarters are located, the Anderson House. Admission to the museum is free and appointments to access the Library can be made but are not required.
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024
Archive and Museum: In addition to their world-renowned exhibitions, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum holds numerous archival collections available to the public, such as Resistance, Concentration Camps, American Responses to the Holocaust, diaries, and photos and albums. Tickets are required but free.
4340 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016
Public Library Collection: The Washingtoniana Collection is a special collection of resources and materials from the late 18th Century to the present, primarily focused on D.C. history. The resources include books, censuses, directories, genealogy, government documents, maps, newspapers, postcards, and yearbooks. Contact Special Collections for more information or to schedule a research appointment.