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

Catholic New Service Library and Photo Archives

Introductory Information

Catholic New Service Library and Photo Archives External

Address: 3211 4th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017

Library Telephone number: 202-541-3286

Library Email: [email protected]

Photo Archives Telephone number: (202) 541-3252

Photo Archives Email: [email protected]

Contact information External

Digital Collections link External

Access Policies

Hours of service: Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.--5:00 p.m.

Open to the public: Yes, by appointment. Please contact [email protected]

Interlibrary loan: No

Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by: telephone and email.

Background note:
Founded in 1920 as the National Catholic Welfare Conference News Service and later became the National Catholic News Service. It is now called the Catholic News Service. The photo service began in 1922 shortly after the founding of the National Catholic Welfare Conference News Service.


Books and monographs
The Catholic News Service Library has approximately 1,000 volumes dating from 1940 to the present. Emphasis of the collection is on U.S. Catholicism with ready reference materials available on this topic, as well as biographical materials on major figures (such as the Pope), hagiographies, and Catholic annuals.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
The Catholic News Service Library has Catholic News Service clippings from 1920 to 1994 covering U.S. Catholicism. A chronological index covering 1920-1970 exists for this file. An electronic news archive exists from 1988 to the present and subscriptions are available. Searchable archive exists for Origins, CNS documentary service, from 1971 to 2020.

Videos and sound recordings
These materials are available on Catholic News Service YouTube channel or at External

The Photo Archives has 50,000 black-and-white news photographs dating from 1920 to the present. The focus of this collection is the Catholic Church with a particular emphasis on the Vatican, Catholic organizations, and church activities. Photos of prominent clerical and lay Catholics are also found here. This collection is not accessible by the public.

Databases and/or electronic resources
An in-house database contains CNS daily news service from 1988 to present. This is available to visitors with appointments. Subscriptions to news content available at External . The public Website is External

Digital collections
Microfilm and early photo service materials are searchable at External

Subject Headings

Catholic Church--United States--History; Vatican; Vatican II; Catholic press; Christian biography; Hagiography; Popes; Popes--Biography; Saints; Virgin Mary; Bishops; Immigration