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Girl Looking at map


Treasures from Albert H. Small Collection




Visit the Albert H. Small Gallery to explore the history of Washington, D.C., through this selection of maps, letters, prints, and artifacts from the museum’s Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection.



About the Display

Highlights of the current display include two panoramic bird's-eye-view paintings of historical Washington, D.C., created by Peter Waddell in 2018; a rare Civil War pass; and a letter written by then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson to Peter (Pierre) Charles L'Enfant in 1791. After the location of the new federal city was determined, Jefferson ordered city planner L’Enfant to travel to Georgetown to begin design.

The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection documents the formation, development, and history of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region from the 17th to the mid-20th century. It includes nearly 2,000 maps, prints, rare letters, newspapers, photographs, and drawings, as well as an extensive reference library.

Organized in cooperation with the Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies.