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Photos, Oral Histories, Ephemera, and more from     

DC Public Library Special Collections     

 

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About this collection

The Reports of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia 1874-1929 comprise 198 volumes compiled by numerous DC government offices, which provide unique, comprehensive, and detailed information about DC government and life during that period.

 

From 1874 to 1967, the District of Columbia was governed by a three-member Board of Commissioners appointed by the President of the United States which held both legislative and executive power. Each year the Board issued an annual report to Congress.  These annual reports grew into large multi-volume documents comprised of reports from many DC government offices and departments.  District of Columbia government activities described in the reports include those of the DC Public Library, Engineer Department, Board of Health, Public Library, Fire Department, Police Department, Board of Trustees of Public Schools, Department of Insurance, Department of Playgrounds, Director of Traffic, Department of Weights, Measures, and Markets, and Board of Public Welfare among others.  Information contained therein covers topics from from the number of dog licenses issued to new roads built to statistics on the gender, age, and race of persons admitted to DC hospitals for specific diseases.

 

The reports in this collection have been digitized from microfilm.  Annual reports missing from the library’s collection include 1900, Volume 2 and 1903 Volumes 1, 2, and 3. The reports include many statistical charts, maps, and other illustrations and diagrams.  Many of the maps were not unfolded when originally photographed for microfilm, however original copies of the volumes and their maps may be available for research in DCPL Special Collections.  Bound Commissioners Reports from the 1930s to the 1960s are available in the Washingtoniana reading room.

 

In addition to the Commissioners’ annual reports, this collection also includes an 1876 report on U.S. government collections at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, the very first worlds’ fair, and the 1876 expenses of the United States War Department.

 

All Reports of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia are government documents and therefore in the public domain.

 
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