District of Columbia Archives and Libraries

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The following archives, libraries, and societies have collections or services helpful for genealogical research for the District of Columbia.

National Archives
Pennsylvania Avenue at 8th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20408
Telephone: 202-501-5415
Fax: 301-713-6740
Internet: http://www.archives.gov/

Columbia Historical Society
333 Constitution Avenue, NW
Room 4826
Washington, DC 20001-2866
Telephone: 202-785-2068
Fax: 202-887-5785
Internet: http://www.dcchs.org/

District of Columbia Public Library
Information and Reference
901 "G" Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-4599
Telephone: 202-727-0321
Fax: 202-707-1129
Internet: http://dclibrary.org/

Library of Congress
General Reference and Bibliography Division
101 Independence Avenue at First Street, S.E.
Washington, DC 20504
Telephone: 202-707-5000
Fax: 202-707-5844
Internet: http://www.loc.gov/index.html

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401
Telephone: 410-260-6400
Toll free: 1-800-235-4045
Fax: 410-974-3895
Internet: http://www.msa.md.gov/

Guides to specific research collections are:

Benton, Mildred, ed. Library and Reference Facilities in the Area of the District of Columbia. 12th edition. American Society for Information Science, 1986. (FHL book 975.3 J5j.)

Provine, Dorothy S. Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Government of the District of Columbia. Record Group 351. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, 1976. (FHL book 975.3 A1 No. 8.)

The Internet and Message Boards

The internet is an important tool for obtaining information. The internet itself can serve as a library. Through the internet family history researchers can:

  • Locate other researchers
  • Post queries
  • Send and receive e-mail
  • Search large databases
  • Search computer libraries
  • Join in computer chat and lecture sessions

You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from the District of Columbia in a variety of sources at local, state, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost.

Addresses on the Internet change frequently. As of December 2007, the following sites are important gateways linking you to many more network and message board sites:



A cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet for each county, state, and country.



A useful list of sites and resources. Includes a large, regularly-updated research coordination list.

For further details about using computer networks, bulletin boards, and news groups for family history research, see the United States Research Topics, "Archives and Libraries" section.



The Family History Library and some Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch™. FamilySearch is a collection of computer files containing several million names. FamilySearch is a good place to begin your research. Some of the records come from compiled sources; some have been automated from original sources.