Posts in category Collections Snapshot

Collections on the Move


In preparation for the September 19th, 2017 re-opening of research services at the Historical Society’s interim home in the Newseum, here’s a little behind-the-scenes peek at just some of the steps that went into preparing the collection for a temporary move from the Carnegie Library. It’s also a gratitude shout-out. The relocation would not have […]

On the Anniversary of the 19th Amendment – The Legacy of Delta Sigma Theta


The elective franchise is withheld from one half of its citizens…because the word ‘people,’ by an unparalleled exhibition of lexicon graphical acrobatics, has been turned and twisted to mean all who were shrewd and wise enough to have themselves born boys instead of girls, or who took the trouble to be born white instead of […]

Exhibit of Vintage D.C. Postcards feature Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Collections

Exhibit of Vintage D.C. Postcards feature Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Collections

On Monday, July 17, 2017 the American Institute of Architects, DC (AIA|DC) held their reception for Wish You Were Here: Vintage Postcards of Washington, D.C. which opened at their District Architecture Center. The exhibit takes visitors on a visual journey through the Washington, D.C. of yesteryear using early-to-mid 20th century postcards. This exploration is comprised of […]

The Fourth of July in the Nation’s Capital

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    The Fourth of July – the date that the Second Continental Congress approved the final wording of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence – is a well known date in our nation’s history.[1] How we began to celebrate and commemorate the fourth of July – and all the dates attached to the colonies declaring independence […]

Exploring the William G. Newton Pencil Sketches


“Mercury at 10th & D.” Sketch by Thomas G. Newton, c.1859-1877. The William G. Newton Pencil Sketches collection, comprising 217 pencil sketches and the occasional watercolor, was donated to the Historical Society in 1950 upon the death of the artist, and preliminarily cataloged in 2003. Thanks to the incredible efforts of Spring 2017 interns Michael […]

The Forgotten History of U Street

The Forgotten History of U Street

Vintage photos of Black Broadway, the hub of commercial, intellectual, and cultural life for African Americans in D.C. from the 1920s to the 1950s. By Briana Thomas | Washingtonian Magazine, February 12, 2017 Read Briana Thomas’ article.

What If? Washington: A Castle-less Capital City

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Imagine. What if the Smithsonian Castle had burned all the way to the ground when flames surrounded the building in 1865? One of the most distinctive – and wonderfully odd, really, with its mismatched turrets and cloister-influenced nooks and crannies – and immediately recognizable buildings in all of Washington might have ceased to exist. What if James Smithson’s papers hadn’t […]

Help Needed! Volunteer Opportunities Available


The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. has a busy fall ahead and we need volunteers to help us! Through serving as docents for the permanent exhibit, staffing programs, providing reference services, processing collections, and performing administrative activities, the countless hours contributed by members and other volunteers are critical to the continued success of the Historical Society’s mission. […]

Tip of the CAP: The Great Rehousing Project

The Ephemera Collection has been stored in filing cabinets for years. The CAP report recommended rehousing the entire collection.

The Society applied for and was thrilled to receive a 2014 Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) grant. This is Part IV of a series of posts regarding the CAP assessment. (Here are Part I, Part II, and Part III).  One of the recommendations made in the report was the rehousing of the Ephemera Collection. We’re so […]

Meet Pauline Wayne, President Taft’s Cow

Meet Pauline Wayne, President Taft’s Cow

When it comes to White House animals, Presidential pets are the most well-known. Andrew Jackson had Polly, an infamous swearing parrot, James Buchanan had an elephant at the White House (a gift from the King of Siam), and Teddy Roosevelt and his children had a small menagerie of nearly thirty pets during their time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. […]