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Proposed plan for National Mall


Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection



The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection traces the founding and evolution of Washington, D.C. as a city and a national capital. It includes nearly 2,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers, broadsides, and photographs. The collection was donated to the George Washington University in 2011 by real estate developer and philanthropist Albert H. Small.




Prints and Maps

Rare 17th- and 18th-century maps predate the establishment of the U.S. capital. Other maps in the Washingtoniana Collection illustrate the city’s founding plan, the Civil War era, and 20th-century growth. These maps and other prints chronicle the emergence of neighborhoods, federal buildings, monuments, and urban infrastructure.

Documents and Ephemera

This collection includes more than 600 books, pamphlets, planning studies, government reports, proposals, and other documentation of Washington’s urban development. Highlights include President George Washington's letter to Congress describing the ten-mile square that would become the District of Columbia, and an 1814 manuscript map illustrating the infamous battle that resulted in the British burning of the White House.

Civil War

The Washingtoniana Collection is especially strong in letters, photographs, and ephemera that document Civil War Washington, including the war’s impact on the Capitol building, the White House, and public monuments. One distinctive item is the War Department's broadside announcing the $100,000 reward for the capture of President Abraham Lincoln's assassin and conspirators.



Bird's-eye view of Washington Circle

Charles Magnus, Camp Fry, Washington, D.C., published by Charles Magnus & Co., c. 1863, AS 38

Col. Ellsworth with his troops running past him

Thomas Nast, Alexandria, Va., Taken by Col. Ellsworth's Zouaves, published by New York Illustrated News, June 1861, AS 146

wanted poster

$100,000 Reward!, published by Edwin M. Stanton, 1865, AS 48

Hand-colored view of a crowd of civilians on the south portico of the White House

Prince Napoleon Visiting President Lincoln at the White House, Washington, D.C., published by Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, August 7, 1861, AS 447

Handcolored map showing considerable detail of Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay, and Delaware

Pierre Mortier, Carte Particuliere de Virginie, Maryland, Pennsilvanie, La Nouvel Jarsey, 1690, AS 186

Proposed plan for the National Mall

A. Hoen & Co., Birdseye View of the National Capital Including the Site of the Proposed World's Exposition of 1892, published by E. Kurtz Johnson, 1888, AS 286


George Washington, Philadelphia, to David Stuart, Georgetown, D.C., November 30, 1792, AS 895


Souvenir lithograph of D.C. landmarks, published by Casimir Bohn,
c. 1861, AS 268

Greyscale map of both Washington City and Georgetown showing the numbered squares

Plan of the City of Washington in the Territory of Columbia, engraved by Thackara & Vallance, Philadelphia, 1792, AS 64



Keep Exploring

Learn more about the artworks featured on this page and other examples from our collections.