Posts in category Collections Snapshot

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 The Republic Theater, on the north side of the 1300 block of U Street, 1945-1946. Photo by Robert McNeill (RU ET 61). Provided by Susan [...]

What If? Washington: A Castle-less Ca...

PO Smithson J
The Castle, burning, 1865. (Kiplinger Washington Collection, KC0785) 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 immed [...]

Help Needed! Volunteer Opportunities ...

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 critica [...]

Tip of the CAP: The Great Rehousing P...

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 happy to report that th [...]

Meet Pauline Wayne, President Taft...

Meet Pauline Wayne, President Taft’s Cow
Pauline Wayne, President Taft’s Holstein cow, was the last to live at the White House.  (CHS 00861, c. 1910) 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 R [...]

Do You Remember These “Long-Gon...

Do You Remember These “Long-Gone” Washington Eateries?
More than a dozen images from the Historical Society’s collections are featured in today’s Washington Business Journal. Some of the “long-gone” restaurants include Duke Zeibert’s at Connecticut and L, Gusti’s at 19th and M, and L’Escargot on Connecticut in Cleveland Park. Which places do you remember? [...]

History Mystery: Dating Door Keeper B...

PO Buckingham J_small
This undated portrait of John E. Buckingham is part of the Photographic Portrait Collection, an assembled collection of images of individual which were donated to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., through the years. History Mystery: The circa 2004 catalog record for the portrait of John E. Buckingham dated the image to 1865. When th [...]

Collaboration with Ford’s Theat...

What's wrong with this broadside?
What’s wrong with this message? Oops. Contrary to the information seen in this broadside, Secretary of State William H. Seward did not die in the April 15, 1865 attack that killed President Abraham Lincoln. In fact, after surviving the brutal stabbing attempt on his life, Seward would go on to serve several more years as Secretary of St [...]

Collection Snapshot: Doctors Hospital

This image of Doctors Hospital shows editors marks.
Prescriptions for 35 cents. Those were the days. Title: Doctors Hospital Publicity Records, 1940-1979 (MS 0792)     Content:  When was the last time you saw a pharmacy register ring up at 35 cents – or heard baby girls described as a “combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale,” – or attended an evening function where cigarettes we [...]

Backstage: The Down Side of Framing

Pliers came in handy when removing the dozen of small straight nails holding the backing to the frame.
Cardboard backing and the remains of glue left their mark on the verso of this print, which was donated to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. in a wooden frame and mat of dubious origin. Backstage is an occasional series covering the behind-the-scenes actions that are part of collections care. We’ll delve into the decisions regarding [...]