Community Museology

The Anacostia Community Museum was one of the first community museums to exist anywhere.

Existing Museum Collections

All of the museum object collections as well as the photographic and special collections held in archives that are relevant to the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area will serve as the material resource base for the CDI.  Virtually all of the early research done from 1967 to the end of the 1970s focuses on community histories of the neighborhoods lying east of the Anacostia River, and there are several small collections with documentation on other neighborhoods and communities of the Metro Area.  New research being done for the purposes of developing an exhibition on the impact of the Civil War resulting in maps and other materials on the history of land use; and the research being done on urban waterways will also add to the collections available for CDI programming.


There are also significant holdings on immigrant communities in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area, compiled during research for the museum’s Black Mosaic project.  Materials from this project include family photographs, community events documented by museum photographers, audio and video interviews of members of different ethnic communities, and other archival and object holdings.   The scope of the museum’s Black Mosaic collection and the emerging materials from the research being done on the local Panamanian community are citywide in scope. Other major museum collections document celebrations, holidays and leisure time activities in urban communities, and the history of the Holiness and Pentecostal churches.

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