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Photos, Oral Histories, Ephemera, and more from     

DC Public Library Special Collections     

 

About this collection

The Washington Star Photograph Collection is the photo archive of The Washington Star newspaper, including both images that were and were not published in the newspaper. The digital collection includes photographs documenting D.C. in the days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

The Star was the newspaper of record in D.C. from the late 19th through the mid-20th century, though it was eventually superseded and then purchased by The Washington Post. The newspaper's photograph archive includes approximately 1.3 million photographs from the mid-1930s to 1981, most of which were taken in the 1960s and 1970s. The collection has been kept together intact, therefore national and international images can be found as well as local D.C.

 

Sections of the collection are being digitized and made published online on an ongoing basis, beginning with  the "1968 Riots" series of the collection. This section documents life in D.C. in the days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis on April 4, 1968, including mourning, riots across the district, ensuing destruction, and government and military response.

 

The Washington Post purchased the physical assets of the Washington Star newspaper when it closed in 1981. In 1982, the Post donated photographs, clippings and papers of the Star to the DC Public Library. The Post retained copyright to photographs taken by Star photographers and licensed the library to grant permissions for reproduction to library users. The library does not have the rights and cannot grant permission for photos in the collection taken by wire services or other non-Star photographers and thus those images are not yet being digitized.

 

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

 
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