Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies Reading Room
With the museum’s Washingtoniana Collection as a centerpiece, the Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies engages students, scholars, and the public in research and educational programs pertaining to our nation’s capital. The reading room houses a non-circulating library of books relating to D.C. history—including rare books and bound congressional acts tracing the city’s development—as well as an extensive flat-file collection of maps, illustrative prints, newspapers, and tourist ephemera items.
Plan a Visit
Reading Room Hours
The reading room is open for research by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, please email email@example.com with your requested items and a completed research access form. You can also print the form and present it at your appointment.
The study center is located on the lower level of the museum's historic Woodhull House. Enter through the main museum entrance at 701 21st Street, NW (get directions). Leave any large coats, food or drink, and backpacks in a secure locker off the lobby. Keys are available at the front desk. You will then go to the second floor of the museum, cross the bridge to the Woodhull House, and take the stairs or the elevator to the first floor. The study center is in Room 191.
- Pencils and paper
- Notebooks and journals
- Laptops, cameras, phones (flash and sound must be turned off at all times)
- Food and drink
- Sharp objects
All prohibited items should be checked in the coat room of the museum lobby prior to entering the reading room.
Explore the Collections
The reading room houses a non-circulating library of books relating to D.C. history. The titles are being made searchable in the university’s Gelman Library system.
- Wide variety of maps of the city and surrounding areas during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
- Prints and illustrations of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Washington, D.C., architecture, landscapes, city views, social life, and political events
- Images of the built environment, with a focus on the White House and Capitol
- Early Washington, D.C., newspapers
- Pamphlets and ephemera relating to tourism and travel
Search our online finding aids to request an item: