DC History Center

DC History Center The DC History Center is an educational nonprofit that deepens understanding of our city's past to connect, empower, and inspire. Celebrating 125 years of telling DC stories.
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Operating as usual

Happy Labor Day! Looking for a DC celebration? Join the District community for a 5K and fun today at the New Frederick D...
09/06/2021

Happy Labor Day! Looking for a DC celebration? Join the District community for a 5K and fun today at the New Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge! More details can found at: https://bit.ly/3BNpR4s

📸 Original Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, ca. 1950. Courtesy, District Department of Transportation, #2601

Happy Labor Day! Looking for a DC celebration? Join the District community for a 5K and fun today at the New Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge! More details can found at: https://bit.ly/3BNpR4s

📸 Original Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, ca. 1950. Courtesy, District Department of Transportation, #2601

#OTD Children play on the sidewalk with a wagon on T Street NW between 13th and 14th Streets, September 3, 1949.📷: John ...
09/03/2021

#OTD Children play on the sidewalk with a wagon on T Street NW between 13th and 14th Streets, September 3, 1949.

📷: John P. Wymer Photograph Collection, WY 2089.35

#OTD Children play on the sidewalk with a wagon on T Street NW between 13th and 14th Streets, September 3, 1949.

📷: John P. Wymer Photograph Collection, WY 2089.35

Happy #NationalDogDay to all the very good boys and girls of DC! 🐶 On this special occasion, be sure to spoil and celebr...
08/26/2021

Happy #NationalDogDay to all the very good boys and girls of DC! 🐶 On this special occasion, be sure to spoil and celebrate the perfect pooches in your life with a treat and a nose boop.

📷: Children pose with their dogs on the National Mall during Junior District Day, April 19, 1938. Photo by Harrison Howell Walker (General photograph collection, CHS 10879C)

Happy #NationalDogDay to all the very good boys and girls of DC! 🐶 On this special occasion, be sure to spoil and celebrate the perfect pooches in your life with a treat and a nose boop.

📷: Children pose with their dogs on the National Mall during Junior District Day, April 19, 1938. Photo by Harrison Howell Walker (General photograph collection, CHS 10879C)

Oh snap! 📸 It’s #WorldPhotographyDay! As lovers of this medium, we’re joining in on this annual worldwide celebration of...
08/19/2021

Oh snap! 📸 It’s #WorldPhotographyDay! As lovers of this medium, we’re joining in on this annual worldwide celebration of the art, craft, science and history of photography. Here at the DC History Center, our collection is home to nearly 100,000 cataloged photographs, with many more hidden within manuscript collections.

Explore our collections at https://bit.ly/3z0oyhK!

📷: Newspaper photographer Joseph B. Roberts stands with his camera atop the Washington Monument when workmen were installing a lightning rod, ca. 1934. (Kiplinger Washington Collection, KC4234.PH.LG.AU)

Oh snap! 📸 It’s #WorldPhotographyDay! As lovers of this medium, we’re joining in on this annual worldwide celebration of the art, craft, science and history of photography. Here at the DC History Center, our collection is home to nearly 100,000 cataloged photographs, with many more hidden within manuscript collections.

Explore our collections at https://bit.ly/3z0oyhK!

📷: Newspaper photographer Joseph B. Roberts stands with his camera atop the Washington Monument when workmen were installing a lightning rod, ca. 1934. (Kiplinger Washington Collection, KC4234.PH.LG.AU)

Bibliophiles rejoice! It’s #NationalBookLoversDay. It’s probably no surprise that we here at the DC History Center share...
08/09/2021

Bibliophiles rejoice! It’s #NationalBookLoversDay. It’s probably no surprise that we here at the DC History Center share in this love of books—we hold more than 3,800 books in our collection! Our oldest title, “The Vision of Columbus: A Poem in Nine Books,'' written by the celebrated poet and lawyer Joel Barlow, was published in 1787. Fun fact: Barlow was the owner of “Kalorama,” the opulent home from which the neighborhood would eventually get its name.

Interested in researching within our collections? You can make an in-person appointment or request remote reference services by emailing [email protected].

📷: Two women sit among the stacks of a library, ca. 1950 (Edward A. Hubbard photograph collection, HEd 1009)

Bibliophiles rejoice! It’s #NationalBookLoversDay. It’s probably no surprise that we here at the DC History Center share in this love of books—we hold more than 3,800 books in our collection! Our oldest title, “The Vision of Columbus: A Poem in Nine Books,'' written by the celebrated poet and lawyer Joel Barlow, was published in 1787. Fun fact: Barlow was the owner of “Kalorama,” the opulent home from which the neighborhood would eventually get its name.

Interested in researching within our collections? You can make an in-person appointment or request remote reference services by emailing [email protected]g.

📷: Two women sit among the stacks of a library, ca. 1950 (Edward A. Hubbard photograph collection, HEd 1009)

You’ve cat to be kitten me right meow--it’s #InternationalCatDay! 🐱It’s true cats make lovable pets and companions. But ...
08/08/2021

You’ve cat to be kitten me right meow--it’s #InternationalCatDay! 🐱

It’s true cats make lovable pets and companions. But fun fact: they also make purrfect doll substitutes.

📷: Eva and Mary Taft play with a cat and doll in the back of the Henry Taft house at 4021 Kansas Avenue NW, ca. 1905 (Henry Arthur Taft photograph collection, TA 23)

You’ve cat to be kitten me right meow--it’s #InternationalCatDay! 🐱

It’s true cats make lovable pets and companions. But fun fact: they also make purrfect doll substitutes.

📷: Eva and Mary Taft play with a cat and doll in the back of the Henry Taft house at 4021 Kansas Avenue NW, ca. 1905 (Henry Arthur Taft photograph collection, TA 23)

Check it out! Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis went to StoryCorps with her son, Ernest Jarvis, to remember her father, Dr. Charl...
08/06/2021
Dr. Charles Drew: Remembering “The Father of Blood Banks” And His Fatherhood

Check it out! Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis went to StoryCorps with her son, Ernest Jarvis, to remember her father, Dr. Charles Drew, a prominent DC surgeon who paved the way for today’s blood banks.

In the 1940s, Dr. Charles Drew was a surgeon and blood scientist, and today he is known as the “Father of Blood Banks.” His daughter, Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis, came to StoryCorps with her son, Ernest Jarvis, to remember him and his work.

💦 Kids test out the splash pad at John F. Kennedy Playground (6th and O Streets NW) on a hot August day, 1964. Now renov...
08/05/2021

💦 Kids test out the splash pad at John F. Kennedy Playground (6th and O Streets NW) on a hot August day, 1964. Now renovated, youngsters still flock to this site to cool off in the summertime. (Emil A. Press slide collection, PR 1021A)

💦 Kids test out the splash pad at John F. Kennedy Playground (6th and O Streets NW) on a hot August day, 1964. Now renovated, youngsters still flock to this site to cool off in the summertime. (Emil A. Press slide collection, PR 1021A)

August is #NationalBlackBusinessMonth, when we recognize the Black-owned businesses in Washington, DC and across the cou...
08/01/2021

August is #NationalBlackBusinessMonth, when we recognize the Black-owned businesses in Washington, DC and across the country.

McGuire Funeral Services, Inc., owned and operated by the McGuire Family, is now in its fourth generation of service to Washington, DC. Dr. Robert G. McGuire founded the family business in 1912, and his grandson and great-grandson, with their families, run it today. Over the years McGuire Funeral Services has served more than 25,000 descendants, a virtual Who’s Who of famous African Americans, including Charles Hamilton Houston, Medgar Evers, Dr. Charles R. Drew, and Billy Simpson. Originally located on H Street NE, McGuire Funeral Home operated for decades in the heart of the historically Black U Street neighborhood before moving in 1974 to upper Georgia Avenue in Shepherd Park.

Black business owners account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses. Among U.S. cities, Washington, DC boasts the highest ratio, with 28% of all businesses being Black-owned.

Cardboard fan, "Compliments of The McGuire Funeral Home, 'Washington's Finest and Most Reasonable.'" (MS 0905 Richardson McGuire Family Papers)

Happy International #DayofFriendship! These four friends were photographed “putting their best foot forward” by Peggy Fl...
07/30/2021

Happy International #DayofFriendship!

These four friends were photographed “putting their best foot forward” by Peggy Fleming in 1994.

📷: Peggy Fleming papers, CHS 15168.04

Happy International #DayofFriendship!

These four friends were photographed “putting their best foot forward” by Peggy Fleming in 1994.

📷: Peggy Fleming papers, CHS 15168.04

💦 Children play in the wading pool at the Georgetown Playground (now Volta Park), 33rd Street and Volta Place NW, July 1...
07/22/2021

💦 Children play in the wading pool at the Georgetown Playground (now Volta Park), 33rd Street and Volta Place NW, July 1, 1950.

📷: John P. Wymer photograph collection, WY 2783.42

💦 Children play in the wading pool at the Georgetown Playground (now Volta Park), 33rd Street and Volta Place NW, July 1, 1950.

📷: John P. Wymer photograph collection, WY 2783.42

It’s #NationalIceCreamDay!🍦A Sunday for sundaes! We hope you take yourself out for a cold, sweet treat today.C. Jacob Fu...
07/18/2021

It’s #NationalIceCreamDay!🍦A Sunday for sundaes! We hope you take yourself out for a cold, sweet treat today.

C. Jacob Fussell (1819-1912) established Fussell Ice Cream Company in 1851 in Seven Valley, Pennsylvania, but moved his factory to Baltimore just a few years later. Washington, DC’s own “dean” of the ice cream industry Ford E. Young began his career as an employee with the Fussell Company. Young founded his own company in 1915, but merged it with the Fussell two years later. Young served as the president of the Fussell-Young Ice Cream Company until his retirement in 1951.

📷: Teenagers enjoy ice cream treats around a Fussells Ice Cream truck, ca. 1950 (MS 411 Ford E. Young Family Papers, Folder 21)

It’s #NationalIceCreamDay!🍦A Sunday for sundaes! We hope you take yourself out for a cold, sweet treat today.

C. Jacob Fussell (1819-1912) established Fussell Ice Cream Company in 1851 in Seven Valley, Pennsylvania, but moved his factory to Baltimore just a few years later. Washington, DC’s own “dean” of the ice cream industry Ford E. Young began his career as an employee with the Fussell Company. Young founded his own company in 1915, but merged it with the Fussell two years later. Young served as the president of the Fussell-Young Ice Cream Company until his retirement in 1951.

📷: Teenagers enjoy ice cream treats around a Fussells Ice Cream truck, ca. 1950 (MS 411 Ford E. Young Family Papers, Folder 21)

Our Kiplinger Research Library reopens tomorrow! 📚 After more than a year of closure due to the pandemic, the library wi...
07/12/2021

Our Kiplinger Research Library reopens tomorrow! 📚 After more than a year of closure due to the pandemic, the library will be open by appointment for in-person research on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am - 3pm. Email [email protected] to start your research today!

Access to the Kiplinger Research Library is by appointment only, no walk-ins. We will be adding more research days in the coming months, with the goal of returning to our regular Tuesday - Friday schedule by the fall.

The DC History Center holds its collections in trust for the public. That means everything we do to take in, organize, describe, rehouse, store, reproduce, and otherwise care for collections is in service of maintaining the items for today’s researchers and for future generations.

Our Kiplinger Research Library reopens tomorrow! 📚 After more than a year of closure due to the pandemic, the library will be open by appointment for in-person research on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am - 3pm. Email [email protected] to start your research today!

Access to the Kiplinger Research Library is by appointment only, no walk-ins. We will be adding more research days in the coming months, with the goal of returning to our regular Tuesday - Friday schedule by the fall.

The DC History Center holds its collections in trust for the public. That means everything we do to take in, organize, describe, rehouse, store, reproduce, and otherwise care for collections is in service of maintaining the items for today’s researchers and for future generations.

Reginald H. Booker and the ECTCFought hard for residents (and the tree canopy)Their vision for DC, for justice, not free...
07/10/2021

Reginald H. Booker and the ECTC
Fought hard for residents (and the tree canopy)
Their vision for DC, for justice, not freeways
Saved DC communities, their culture and greenways.
- Flora L.

It’s #NationalClerihewDay! What’s a clerihew, you say?

A clerihew is a whimsical four-line biographical poem in AABB rhyming structure. Lighthearted in nature, clerihews distill a person’s biography into four simple rhyming lines. The result is a quick summary of a person’s life, career, or achievements.

Although proper clerihews have a slightly more rigid structure (i.e. the first line must end with the person’s name which makes the rhyming more challenging) and often a snarky tone, our DC History Center versions are more relaxed and celebratory.

To learn more about clerihews or see more examples inspired from our collection, check out our latest blog post, https://bit.ly/363tC8a

We’d love to see your clerihews! Tag us and use #DCHistoryPoems and #NationalClerihewDay

📷: Reginald H. Booker testifies against freeway construction on behalf of the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis (ECTC), April 20, 1968, at what is now the Wilson Building. Photo by Gene Abbott. Courtesy, DC Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post

Reginald H. Booker and the ECTC
Fought hard for residents (and the tree canopy)
Their vision for DC, for justice, not freeways
Saved DC communities, their culture and greenways.
- Flora L.

It’s #NationalClerihewDay! What’s a clerihew, you say?

A clerihew is a whimsical four-line biographical poem in AABB rhyming structure. Lighthearted in nature, clerihews distill a person’s biography into four simple rhyming lines. The result is a quick summary of a person’s life, career, or achievements.

Although proper clerihews have a slightly more rigid structure (i.e. the first line must end with the person’s name which makes the rhyming more challenging) and often a snarky tone, our DC History Center versions are more relaxed and celebratory.

To learn more about clerihews or see more examples inspired from our collection, check out our latest blog post, https://bit.ly/363tC8a

We’d love to see your clerihews! Tag us and use #DCHistoryPoems and #NationalClerihewDay

📷: Reginald H. Booker testifies against freeway construction on behalf of the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis (ECTC), April 20, 1968, at what is now the Wilson Building. Photo by Gene Abbott. Courtesy, DC Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post

On a hot summer day, we can’t be alone in dreaming of fresh seafood! 🦐 The Municipal Fish Market (1100 block of Maine Av...
07/07/2021

On a hot summer day, we can’t be alone in dreaming of fresh seafood! 🦐 The Municipal Fish Market (1100 block of Maine Ave. SW) is the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the United States. Photographer Emil A. Press captured this image on a hot June day in 1959.

Between 1959 and 1979, Press photographed buildings slated for or in the process of demolition in Washington, DC, mainly south of Florida Ave. Digitized in its entirety in 2018, the Emil A. Press Slide Collection resides at the DC History Center, consisting of about 4,000 35mm color slides.

📷: Municipal Fish Market, June 1959. The New England Sea Food Restaurant is visible at right. (Emil A. Press slide collection, PR 0107A)

On a hot summer day, we can’t be alone in dreaming of fresh seafood! 🦐 The Municipal Fish Market (1100 block of Maine Ave. SW) is the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the United States. Photographer Emil A. Press captured this image on a hot June day in 1959.

Between 1959 and 1979, Press photographed buildings slated for or in the process of demolition in Washington, DC, mainly south of Florida Ave. Digitized in its entirety in 2018, the Emil A. Press Slide Collection resides at the DC History Center, consisting of about 4,000 35mm color slides.

📷: Municipal Fish Market, June 1959. The New England Sea Food Restaurant is visible at right. (Emil A. Press slide collection, PR 0107A)

Happy Fourth of July! 💥 #july4thHowever you celebrate, may your festivities be happy, healthy, and filled with light pyr...
07/04/2021

Happy Fourth of July! 💥 #july4th

However you celebrate, may your festivities be happy, healthy, and filled with light pyrotechnics.

📷: A salesman for the Washington Fireworks Company, Inc. on the phone in their Manassas, VA location, ca. 1990 (Martha Tabor “Working Images” photograph collection)

Happy Fourth of July! 💥 #july4th

However you celebrate, may your festivities be happy, healthy, and filled with light pyrotechnics.

📷: A salesman for the Washington Fireworks Company, Inc. on the phone in their Manassas, VA location, ca. 1990 (Martha Tabor “Working Images” photograph collection)

The newly released spring issue of Washington History magazine fittingly offers stories of DC's landscape, often a place...
07/02/2021

The newly released spring issue of Washington History magazine fittingly offers stories of DC's landscape, often a place of beauty as well as contention and mystery. Become a member with the DC History Center and you’ll get two issues per year of the only scholarly publication devoted exclusively to DC’s history! Find out more about the issue: https://bit.ly/washhistmagspring21

📸: Neighbors dance in Adams Morgan’s Walter Pierce Park during the 1977 Latino Festival. Years of determined organizing and pressure on the DC government yielded a much-needed playground, event space, and garden on what had been a vacant lot awaiting development. Photograph by Nancy Shia.

The newly released spring issue of Washington History magazine fittingly offers stories of DC's landscape, often a place of beauty as well as contention and mystery. Become a member with the DC History Center and you’ll get two issues per year of the only scholarly publication devoted exclusively to DC’s history! Find out more about the issue: https://bit.ly/washhistmagspring21

📸: Neighbors dance in Adams Morgan’s Walter Pierce Park during the 1977 Latino Festival. Years of determined organizing and pressure on the DC government yielded a much-needed playground, event space, and garden on what had been a vacant lot awaiting development. Photograph by Nancy Shia.

Address

801 K Street, NW
Washington D.C., DC
20001

Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter: served by the Green Line and Yellow Lines. Judiciary Square: served by the Red Line.

General information

Research Services at the Kiplinger Research Library will resume on August 27, 2019.

Opening Hours

Thursday 2pm - 7pm
Friday 2pm - 7pm
Saturday 12pm - 6pm

Telephone

+12025161363

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DC History Center Store offers books and merchandise celebrating Washington, DC and drawing on DC History Center collections.

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Our Story

@DCHistory and the DC History Center in the Carnegie Library are managed by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community-supported educational and research organization that collects, interprets, and shares the history of our nation’s capital. Founded in 1894, it serves a diverse audience through its collections, public programs, exhibitions, and publications. Washington is known throughout the world as a monumental federal city. Less well-known are the stories of Washington’s many diverse and vibrant communities. The Historical Society helps make this local history readily available to the public to promote a sense of identity, place, and pride in Washington and to preserve this heritage for future generations. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram! @DCHistory