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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives: Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

D.C. Bahá'í Center Archive

Introductory Information

D.C. Baha'i Center Archive External

Address: 5713 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

Telephone number: 202-291-5532

Contact information: [email protected]

Access Policies

Hours of service: By appointment

Open to the public: Yes, by appointment

Interlibrary loan: No

Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by email.
Note: All research is done at the discretion of the governing body, the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Washington, D.C. Hours for research must be arranged in advance with the DC Bahá’í Archivist.

Background note:
Bahá'ís were first in the Washington D.C./Maryland area by about 1896-1897. The Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Washington, D.C. was incorporated in 1933-1934.


Books and monographs
The Archives holds an extensive collection of books and monographs dating from 1896 to the present.

Periodicals and newspapers
The Archives has many periodicals and various newspaper clippings related to Bahá’í history.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
Materials dating from 1896 to the present, including copies of tablets from ʻAbdu'l-Bahá to Baha’is in the United States, copies of letters from Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of Bahá'í Faith; numerous manuscripts by individual Bahá'ís; extensive holdings of Bahá'í pamphlet literature (1910-present); and records, membership lists, correspondence, and financial and legal documents of the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Washington, D.C.

There are some finding aids for the collections, arranged chronologically and/or alphabetically.

Note: Several area Baha'i communities (e.g. Greenbelt, Alexandria) maintain their own archives

Several paintings of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá; photographs of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá, including those taken while He visited in Washington, D.C. in 1912. These include houses where He stayed while here as well as churches, synagogues, and meeting halls where He spoke. There are hundreds of pictures of Bahá'ís, groups of Bahá'ís, Bahá'í gatherings, and Bahá'í meetings, etc., from 1940 to the present.

Subject Headings

ʻAbdu'l-Bahá, 1844-1921; Bahá'í faith; Bahá'í faith--Sacred books; Bahá'ís--Washington, D.C.


Preliminary Inventory of the Washington, D.C. Baha'i Archives. N.p., 1972.