Prints & Photographs

In Special Collections

Prints and Photographs collects, preserves and makes available photographs and other image forms that document the people, history, culture and built environment of the District of Columbia. The Prints and Photographs Collection is organized into four core collections and comprises more than 1.3 million images.

Photo research, with the exception of the Peabody Room, is by appointment only.  Visit our contacts and hours page for details, or email photos.dcpl@dc.gov.

Washington Star Collection (ca. 1935-1981)

Contains the photo morgue, both published and unpublished images, of The
Washington Star newspaper.  The Star was the paper of record from the late 19th through the mid-20th century in D.C. (eventually superseded and later purchased by The Washington Post). Strongest coverage is for 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.

Washington DC Historical Image Collection (ca. 1970-present)
Consists of a wide variety of image formats that have been arranged by subject and biographical categories.


DC Community Archives Photograph Collections (1829-2002)
Any group of images larger than 25 is regarded as a collection and considered for inclusion in the Archives.  

The Peabody Room
Contains additional photographs specific to Georgetown and Georgetown properties.


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