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

Washington National Cathedral Archives

Introductory Information

Washington National Cathedral Archives External

Address: Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW, Washington, DC 20016

Telephone number: 202-537-5551

Contact information: [email protected]

Access Policies

Hours of service: Monday-Friday: 10 am – 2 pm and by appointment.

Open to the public: Currently closed to the public until later in 2023.

Interlibrary loan: No

Reference policy: Please call or email. Archivist will be in touch regarding research possibilities.


Books and monographs
This is a library of histories and reference works related to the history of the Cathedral and the Episcopal Church (500 volumes, open to the public) with inclusive publication dates from 1890 to 1980. The archives also has in storage a collection of architectural and art books (approximately 1,500 volumes), used for reference during design and construction of the cathedral These pertain primarily to Gothic architecture. This collection is not available for research at present.

Periodicals and newspapers
The Archives holds Cathedral Age, a quarterly magazine, 1925-present. This journal describes activities of the cathedral and its associated schools: the National Cathedral School for girls, St. Albans School for boys, Beauvoir School, and the College of Preachers. Also contains occasional articles on other Episcopal and Anglican cathedrals and articles on conferences held in the cathedral on religious, ethical, economic, and social issues of national significance.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
The central core of the Cathedral Archives is the manuscript collection, consisting of 52 record groups, 250 record storage boxes, and 6,600 folders. The collection documents the corporate, administrative, and public history of the cathedral, 1885-1990.

The architectural and construction records generated during the 83 years that the cathedral was under construction are maintained in a separation collection maintained off-site. The collection consists of 250 record center boxes of correspondence and reports and approximately 40,000 architectural drawings. A rough preliminary inventory by storage box and map case drawer exists on computer.

Five of the 52 record groups noted in the Archives section have been microfilmed for document security purposes.

Four record groups in the main collection contain only photographs. Photos cover major events in the history of the cathedral since 1900.

Subject Headings

Bratenahl, George C. F., 1862-1939; Callaway, Paul, 1909-1985; Christian art; Church architecture; Church buildings; Church music; Councils and synods; Creighton, William Forman, 1909-1987; Dirksen, Richard Wayne, 1921- ; Dun, Angus, 1892-1971; Ecumenical movement; Education and religion; Episcopal Church--Clergy; Feller, Richard T., 1919- ; Freeman, James Edward, 1866-1943; Harding, Alfred, 1852-1923; Liturgy; Perry, Charles Austin, 1928- ; Preaching; Religion and state, Religious art; Religious biography; Ritual; Sacraments; Satterlee, Henry Yates, 1843-1908; Sayre, Francis Bowes, Jr., 1915- ; Sermons; Theological education; Walker, John Thomas, 1925-1989; Women and religion; Worship