As one of Howard University's major research facilities, the MSRC collects, preserves, organizes and makes available for research a wide range of resources chronicling the Black experience throughout the African Diaspora.
The Special Collections Research Center collects and preserves materials about the African Diaspora, the movement of Africans (many of whom were enslaved) and their descendants to places throughout the world. The Africana Research Center is gradually developing a collection to support research on this experience through the 20th century. These collections are intended to document the African, African American and Caribbean experiences in Washington, DC through cultural, spiritual, and artistic expressions; social organizations; and political representation.
The Charles Sumner School housed elementary and secondary school classes for African American students. The first high school graduation for African American students in the United States was held here in 1877. The site now serves as the home of the official museum and archives of Washington, DC Public Schools.
The District of Columbia Archives holds historical and permanently valuable records of the DC Government such as birth and death records, wills, land records and marriage records. Historic records on file include the original wills of Alexander Graham Bell, Francis Scott Key, James Madison, Dolly Madison, Woodrow Wilson, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Frederick Douglass, and the birth certificate for Duke Ellington.
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is a 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.
The National Archives for Black Women's History documents the legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune. The archives collects materials about and illustrating Mary McLeod Bethune, the National Council of Negro Women, other African American women's organizations, and individuals associated with those organizations. The archives also documents the ongoing preservation and interpretation of the Bethune legacy. The archives collects information in all media with a special focus on the years of Mary McLeod Bethune's life, 1875-1955.
Washingtoniana houses an array of resources and materials from the late 18th century to the present, with a primary focus on the local city. In addition to the resources listed below, Washingtoniana also includes Prints & Photographs, the DC Community Archives and the Peabody Room for Georgetown neighborhood history.
The African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED) was created in 1978 as part of a general Library of Congress reorganization. For AMED it combined three sections -- African, Hebraic, and Near East, which cover 77 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia.
The American Folklife Center was created in 1976 by the U.S. Congress to "preserve and present American folklife" through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibitions, publications, and training.
The Anacostia Community Museum Library is a resource supporting the mission of the Anacostia Community Museum, which is to challenge perceptions, broaden perspectives, generate new knowledge, and deepen understanding about the ever-changing concepts and realities of ‘community’ while maintaining its strong ties to Anacostia and the D.C. Metropolitan region.
With over 20 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives is the world’s largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America.
The National Archives was established in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt, but its major holdings date back to 1775. They capture the sweep of the past: slave ship manifests and the Emancipation Proclamation; captured German records and the Japanese surrender documents from World War II; journals of polar expeditions and photographs of Dust Bowl farmers; Indian treaties making transitory promises; and a richly bound document bearing the bold signature "Bonaparte"—the Louisiana Purchase Treaty that doubled the territory of the young republic.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) is under construction and is slated to open in 2016. In the meantime, library staff is building a strong collection to reflect the mission of the museum and to support the research and documentation of all aspects of the African American experience.
The National Museum of American History (NMAH) Library supports research in the following areas: advances in technology, including machinery and transportation; all areas of American history, including social, cultural, political, and economic events and development; the impact of social, cultural, political and economic developments on everyday American life; and scientific developments.
The African Art Library has significant supporting collections of African ethnography, musicology, performing arts, theater, cinema, oral traditions, religion, creative writing, and arts in the African Diaspora as well as general information on the history of African countries.