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Photos, Oral Histories, Ephemera, and more from     

DC Public Library Special Collections     

 

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About this collection

The DC Public Library Archives digital collection includes selected photographs of library buildings, events, staff, and services dating from the 1900s to the 1970s from the institutional archives of DC Public Library.


The photographs document the evolution of the district’s public libraries throughout the 20th century. Collection highlights include images of the former Central Library at Mount Vernon Square, the construction and opening of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in the early 1970s, library bookmobiles, and architectural drawings and models (including some for libraries that were never built). More materials, including library "home movies" scheduled for digitization from 8mm film in summer 2015, will be added to this collection in the future.

 

The collection published here is only a very small selection of the images available in the DCPL Archives.  All were digitized from 8x10 inch photographic prints in August 2014.

 

DCPL holds the copyright for most of the images, which were created by library staff or as work-for-hire. However, some of the images were created by photojournalists for publication, other professional photographers unassociated with the library, or by unknown entities.  The rights status of these images must be investigated by researchers before publication.

 

Learn more about the collection in its finding aid on the DCPL Special Collections webpage.

 

Image of a patron at a card catalog in the Great Hall of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, circa 1970s.  From the DC Public Library Archives, DC Public Library Special Collections.

 
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