Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

More on Library of Congress Resources

As a follow-up to our House History sessions one of our participants hails from the Library of Congress and I she offeres this information on Library of Congress resources.

Abby Yochelson
Reference Specialist
Humanities and Social Sciences Division
Library of Congress

Chronicling America http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ many times. It’s great because it includes so many newspapers and is freely available. I was interested to see what newspapers from DC show up there: . A whole lot of the DC papers only lasted a couple of years and it’s almost all 19th century, but the site is also great for elsewhere in the country.

In terms of other newspaper sources, we have some wonderful subscription databases. It’s absolutely wonderful that patrons can log into The Evening Star and Washington Post from home with their DC Public Library library card number. The database vendors will not give us the same licensing agreements so patrons must be on our premises to use these subscription databases. Still, so many of the class attendees were from Capitol Hill, it’s quite convenient.

You can get to a list of our electronic resources from the outside at http://eresources.loc.gov/ . Some are free access but most say onsite access only.

There’s a category for “Historical News” http://eresources.loc.gov/search~S9/m?SEARCH=Historical+News . This is where I find “America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922; 19th Century US Newspapers (Gale); African American Newspapers, 1827-1998; ProQuest Historical Newspapers, and Newspaper Archive. (The latter has a terrible interface and not much for DC, but I have found some really obscure information from elsewhere in the country.) [Library of Congress does not have the Evening Star online from Newsbank.]

You showed us one of the beautiful (romantic!) panoramic maps during class and have one on your blog site. Here’s a link to others from DC: http://www.loc.gov/collection/panoramic-maps/?q=District+of+Columbia (You provide a link to the Sanborn digitized maps here, so I thought I’d include this one. They all seem to cut off just before they get to Eastern Market where I live!)

Also, here are listings for Genealogy databases: http://eresources.loc.gov/search~S9/m?SEARCH=Genealogy
Once upon a time, we all had to trek down to the National Archives to look at the microfilmed Census records. You mentioned that the National Archives has Ancestry and a whole lot of other genealogy databases such as Fold3 and Heritage Quest, indexes to ship records, etc. I just checked and it looks like both institutions have the same subscription databases for genealogy!


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This entry was posted on February 10, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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