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

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives: Anacostia Community Museum Branch Library

Introductory Information

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives: Anacostia Community Museum Branch Library

Address: 1901 Fort Place SE, Room 215, Washington, DC 20020

Telephone number: 202-633-4862

Contact information: [email protected]

Online catalog

Digital Collections link

Access Policies

Hours of service: By appointment.

Open to the public: Yes, by appointment

Interlibrary loan: Yes

Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by: Telephone, email, and mail.

Background note:
The Anacostia Museum was founded in 1967. The Smithsonian Institution Libraries: Anacostia Museum Branch Library was organized in 1991. Since the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture Library in 2017, we started collecting materials covering cities, communities, environmental justice, and urban waterways


Books and monographs
The collection holds approximately 8,000 volumes which date from 1933 to present. Highlights include African American religion with an emphasis on African American churches, some materials on African American sacred music, and some on the African American Islamic community. The online catalog (SIRIS) covers these collections.

Periodicals and newspapers
Multiple subscriptions, thirty journal titles from 1834 to the present. These journals cover African American churches, the anti-slavery movement, and the civil rights movement. Please see the microform entry below for information about our newspapers.

40-50 titles of African American newspapers from the 19th century. Some have short runs. Much of what is written in these will touch in some way on abolition and social and religious issues. Nine titles, primarily dissertations on African American religious topics, especially relating to the eastern seaboard to the United States.

Videos and sound recordings
Three sets of videotapes with dates from 1989 to present. Highlights include Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Tape Library, a collection of u-matic videotapes (part of the Museum's collection) of individual interviews with church figures, journalists, civil rights movement figures and others. There are also church services that were made for an African American history project during 1989-1994.

Vertical files
100 vertical file folders with dates from ca. 1960 to present. The focus of this collection is African American religion. File folders are arranged by subjects.

Databases and/or electronic resources
Subscription resources
Freely available resources

Digital collections
Anacostia Community Museum Branch Library collections
Smithsonian Library collections

Subject Headings

African American churches; African Americans--Religion; Church buildings--African American; Church history--African American; Islam and African Americans; Spirituals; Urban Waterways; Cities; Environmental Justice; Communities