What’s Inside: Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Archives

Posted: December 2, 2014 by Martha in Inside the Archives
Tags: , , ,
historydc.org woman riding bicycle

Photo credit: The Historical Society of Washington, D.C (catalog # AL 019.06D)

Today, Jane Zhang and I met with Anne McDonough, Collections Manager at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. to learn about the history of their archives, history of record keeping and figures that impacted archival development. In our brief conversations, we touched on ideas worthy of several blog posts about this organization!

For this post, I will touch on the development of record keeping at the Historical Society. In the coming weeks, I’ll look into some of the figures and collection that showcase the development of archival practices at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

The Historical Society records from 1897 to 1989 are very organized. The members researched the history and topography of Washington DC and published their research and meeting notes in the Records of the Columbia Historical Society (the first records include the 36 founding member’s names and addresses in the section titled “Organization and Proceedings for 1894-’95 of the Columbia Historical Society”). As we learned in class, publishing records was an early preservation method employed by archives.

In 1989 the organization change its name to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C and began publishing its research in Washington History, the Society’s semi-annual scholarly journal. These and the earlier records are available on JSTORE. Through these published records, researchers have access to the history of the organization.

You can learn more about the Historical Society on their website at www.dchistory.org

Next time, I’ll share more about what’s inside the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.


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