Urban Studies

Since its opening in 1967, Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) has collected historical materials on the neighborhoods located east of the Anacostia River (EOR). Over time, the museum has acquired significant collections of artifacts, documents, and photographs. Founded and located within a residential, low/mixed income, largely African American community, the museum has always focused on documenting community history and cultural traditions; and the museum’s mission has always identified it as a community-based institution.

Anacostia Community Museum’s current mission focuses on contemporary urban communities. While we maintain a focus on neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River and on the Washington, D.C. Metro area, we are expanding our research and collecting interests to include urban communities in other areas of the U.S. and in other countries.



Community History

As a steward of community and family history, the Anacostia Community Museum regularly partners with community historians, scholars, and students. These partnerships provide an outlet for the work of these civic-minded individuals while assisting the museum in its efforts to fulfill its mission.


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Bridging the Americas

The D.C. area is a rich mixture of local, national, and international communities.  Bridging the Americas illustrates one complicated example of this fusion: the relationship between D.C., the United States, and Panama.

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Houses of Worship

As part of the ACM Community Documentation Initiative, the museum continues its commitment to the exploration and examination of American religious history, experience, and expressions through the “Houses of Worship Project (HOW).” The project involves canvassing and mapping every house of worship in Far Southeast’s wards 7 and 8 and researching various aspects of local religious history and community involvement.

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Unconventional Gateways

Unconventional Gateways is a research project that investigates Latino immigration and migration.  Rather than focus on well-researched cities like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, it looks instead at “unconventional” urban spaces with sharp increases in their Latino populations such as Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, MD; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

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Neighborhood Change

Neighborhood Change is a research project that examines neighborhood change, gentrification, and changing demographics in  selected neighborhoods in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Museum educational programs, research, documentation, and the resulting exhibition will highlight diverse social issues and research queries, including: memory and neighborhood change; land use and the role of zoning and planning; demographic change, immigration, and migration; attitudes about neighborhood change; suburbanization of poverty; and infrastructure and community development.

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