Greater Greater Washington


Get your fill of DC history this fall

With 2 annual conferences that recognize, analyze, share, and discuss our city's recorded and built history, October is a de facto DC History Month. Come November, the Washington Historical Society will turn a page in its own history as it re-opens in the old Carnegie Library.

Old Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square. Photo by the author.

The DC Preservation League's Citywide Preservation Conference is on Friday, October 12th at the Charles Sumner School at 17th & M Streets, NW. Here, city officials, neighborhood activists, architects, and developers will discuss zoning, Union Station, streetscapes, the planned Capitol Crossing development, and historic districts.

A second conference, which DC historians wait for all year, is the 39th Annual Conference on DC Historical Studies. Events will be held October 18th through October 21st at the old Carnegie Library (home of the Historical Society of Washington), the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, and at George Washington University.

This conference combines lectures, discussions, and tours, giving you an opportunity to immerse yourself in DC history for a couple of days.

Historical Society re-opens November 5

Closed since the summer of 2011, the Historical Society of Washington will reopen its Kiplinger Library on a twice-weekly basis starting November 5th. Mondays will be available for appointments, while on Wednesdays, public hours will resume with a new library director.

The nearly 130-year-old organization has been shuttered since last summer. Under a new agreement reached in January, the society has retained the 2nd floor galleries, the library, and collection storage space of the Mt. Vernon Square Carnegie Library. While Literary Hall, the McKinley Theatre, and L'Enfant Map room have been operative with event rentals, plans for a visitor center attracting foot traffic to activate Mount Vernon Square have yet to be realized.

DC will get its own history museum

No update about DC history is complete without mentioning the recent donation of Albert H. Small's collection of Washingtoniana to George Washington University. GWU plans to make it digitally accessible and put on permanent display as part of a new DC History Museum. It'll open in 2014 in a renovated Max Woodhull House, at 20th & G Streets NW on their Foggy Bottom campus.

With all these events, and the excitement of a future dedicated museum, now seems like no better or easier time to plunge into the study and preservation of all sides, stories, facts, and dimensions of Washington's history. If you learn something interesting, consider contributing it as a guest post to Greater Greater Washington—we're always interested in articles about DC's rich history.

John Muller is an associate librarian, journalist and historian. He has written two books, Frederick Douglass in Washington, DC, Mark Twain in Washington, DC, and also writes at Death and Life of Old Anacostia
John DeFerrari is a native Washingtonian with a lifelong passion for local history and writes about it for his blog, Streets Of Washington. His latest book about DC history is Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington, DC. John is also a trustee of the DC Preservation League. The views expressed here are his own. 


Please note that "October is de facto D.C. History Month" is in reference to John DeFerrari's post on Streets of Washington last week.

by John Muller on Oct 8, 2012 3:31 pm • linkreport

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