Historical Society Artifacts Now On Exhibit at the Smithsonian

This 1862 topographical map shows the area's Civil War-era forts.

We’re just teasing you with this 1862 topographical map from the Kiplinger Washington Collection showing the area’s Civil War-era forts; you have to go to the Anacostia Community Museum to see which items made it from the Historical Society’s shelves to the Smithsonian’s walls!

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is proud to have several pieces from its collection on loan to the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, including archaeological artifacts, ephemera, a family bible, and more, as part of the Museum’s new exhibit.  Opening on Monday February 2, How the Civil War Changed Washington, “focuses on the social and spatial impacts of the war, such as changes in social mores, the built environment, the population and its ethnic breakdown, and new collective uses of wartime elements, including the many Civil War Forts constructed around the city were later turned into parks.”

While we don’t want to give too much away (hence the map teaser above), we can say that one section of the exhibit uses the Historical Society’s archaeological artifacts to explore a consequence of Washington’s wartime population explosion, namely, a radical increase of the number of so-called “ladies of the night.” (Speaking of which, the Historical Society is pleased to present a program later this month with the Obscura Society DC, exploring Civil War-era debauchery in Washington. Tickets just launched today and are going fast!).

The exhibit will be on display at the Anacostia Community Museum from February 2 through Fall 2015.

Interested in learning more about how repositories work together to bring collections from various institutions together? Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into facilitating collections loans!