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D. C. Historic Preservation Division Photograph Collection

Identifier: P002

Scope and Contents

The collection contains photographs, negatives, and some slides of historic properties in the City taken from approximately 1970-1987. The photographs consist of two types: snapshots and enlargements submitted by applicants to support their requests for building permits to renovate historic properties; and photographs maintained by the Division of historic buildings in the District. The collection also contains a very small amount of letters related to historic properties. Photographs of the Anacostia, Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Capitol Hill, Ledroit Park, Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, and Downtown neighborhoods as well as buildings such as the Renwick Gallery of Art, Grace Episcopal Church, the National Cathedral School, and the Stoddard Baptist Home, among others, are in the collection.


  • Creation: 1937
  • Creation: 1970-1987


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

The D.C. Historic Preservation Division is part of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and is governed by the D.C. Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act of 1978 (D.C. Law 2-144). In August, 1983, the Council established the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board as an appointed D.C. advisory board with the Division serving as staff for the Board. Prior to the Board's creation, a Joint Committee established by the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission regularly prepared a list of Landmarks of the National Capital and designated properties for the National Register of Historic Places. The Division is currently responsible for surveying historic properties in D.C. in order to maintain the Inventory of Historic Sites, many of which are included in the National Register of Historic Places. The Division also reviews and issues building permits for properties of historic significance.


3 Linear feet

8 Boxes


Series 1: Neighborhoods
Photographs of buildings and houses arranged by neighborhood. They are arranged alphabetically or numerically by street name.

Series 2: Geographical Quadrants
Photographs of buildings and houses arranged by geographical quadrant. They are arranged alphabetically or numerically by street name.

Series 3: Landmarks
Photographs of identified or named buildings and houses arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

The photographs were donated to the Library by Stephen Collcott for the Historic Preservation Division of the D.C. Government.

Processing Information

Basic archival procedures were followed at the time of initial processing. In 2014 preservation work on the collection resulted in some additional processing. All images were removed from improper housing and re-housed into new archival safe polyester sleeves. New folder titles were created in the same style/manner as the original order of the collection. This was done to provide a greater understanding of what street locations were contained within each series. For preservation reasons, larger formatted items were from folders and moved to a flat storage box (box 8). Duplicate prints, originally housed in box 8 were re-integrated into the collection.

D. C. Historic Preservation Division
An inventory of the D. C. Historic Preservation Division Photograph Collection at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by Faye Haskins and Mark S. Greek.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001