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Archival collections are broadly broken down into the following categories. For inquiries or to request access, please email: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Holdings include the personal papers of individuals and organizations with local or national reputations. These collections frequently contain correspondence, photographs and other manuscript materials. Some important collections include the papers of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association, Joy McLean Bosfield, Percival Bryan, Chitlin Market and Company, D.C. Art Association, Griffith Family, Chester Lee Harris, Edith T. Martin, Dorn C. McGrath, Charles E. Qualls, and the Sullivan Family.
The archives house over 50,000 images, with the strength residing in the visual documentation of the community, exhibitions, programs, and educational and outreach material spanning the museum's history. The collection also includes works by historical and contemporary celebrated photographers. Among these photographers are Arthur P. Bedou, Prentice Herman Polk (P. H. Polk), Addison N. Scurlock, Carl Van Vechten, Ernest C. Withers, Robert H. McNeill, Titus Brooks Heagins, Kerry Coppin, Dennis C. Calhoun, and Fern Logan. In addition, the Dorn C. McGrath Jr. slide collection dates from 1969 to 2000 and provides an extensive resource of the built and natural environments of the Anacostia community.
The archives include over 200 volumes of books dating from the early 19th century to the present. Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley is the earliest publication in the collection. Posters, sheet music, pamphlets, vertical files, and audiovisual materials are also among the holdings in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
These records document the museum's myriad exhibits from 1967 to the present and also complement the institutional records held by Smithsonian Institution Archives. The exhibitions of the Anacostia Community Museum (formerly the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum) frequently represent the earliest examples of research about communities. As such, the accumulation of primary and secondary source materials in these collections offer comprehensive resources for thematic research.