Welcome to GW Libraries at the George Washington University, including the Gelman Library on the Foggy Bottom Campus, Eckles Library at Mount Vernon Campus, and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus Library. Part of GW Libraries & Academic Innovation.
The year was 1847 and slavery was legal in the District of Columbia, although it was the site of significant anti-slavery activism. Two enslaved men, known only as Abram and John, were owned by Capt. Haynes of Virginia and brought to Columbian College to assist him in his work as the college's steward. Columbian College student Henry J. Arnold provided Abram with $14 and a letter for an attorney with the intention that Abram would file a lawsuit to win his freedom. For this act of bravery, Arnold was expelled from the college.
While the Arnold Case was not completely forgotten in the history of GW, it has remained largely obscure or else apocryphal to both scholars and the general public. Thanks to collaboration between DCAAP and the GW Libraries' digital services unit, the University Archives have now made available to scholars a cache of documents that illuminates this situation. The documentation consists of drafts and copies of letters written by Columbian College’s then-president, Joel S. Bacon, to Arnold, his family and others who inquired or appealed to Bacon about the matter. With this critical documentation, the story of enslaved people at Columbian College can now be more fully told.
Nearly a decade has passed since the archives of the Corcoran Gallery and the Corcoran College of Art and Design—now the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design—were accessible to researchers. In June, nearly 2,000 boxes of historical documents and hundreds of thousands of architectural drawings, exhibition posters, photographs and oversized ledgers were donated to the George Washington University from the Corcoran board of trustees.
The Corcoran archives document the life and vitality of one of D.C.’s oldest cultural heritage institutions and provides nearly 150 years of insight into the history of American art museums and art education, from its founding in 1869 through 2014 when the historic agreements between the Corcoran, GW and the National Gallery of Art were finalized. The archives will be available to the public at the Special Collections Research Center in Gelman Library.
“We’ve been excited about receiving the archives since the merger was first announced. The Corcoran is an iconic organization with a rich history and these archives tell the story of not only the arts, but of the city of Washington, D.C.,” said Geneva Henry, dean of libraries and academic innovation at GW. “Access to them is highly anticipated. We have been fielding research requests and the availability of the archives will now provide fascinating insight for researchers into the Corcoran.”
We are excited to welcome the #GWClassof2020 to the university and to the libraries by hosting several activities for Colonial Inauguration (CI) throughout the month of June.
Expect increased noise and visitors on the entrance floor from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. during an open house on the following dates:
Wednesday, June 22 • Tuesday, June 28
Expect increased noise and visitors on the entrance floor from 3:30 – 5 p.m. on the following dates:
Thursday, June 23 • Wednesday, June 29
All public computers on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floor –and- study carrels on the 3rd floor will be reserved for registering students from 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. on the following dates:
Friday, June 24 • Thursday, June 30
Congratulations to all of our 2016 graduates! After all this time together the libraries wouldn't abandon you to a libraryless existence. Here are a few of the resources available to you as a GW alumni.
Access to Gelman
GW Alumni can present their valid GWorld Alumni ID card for access to Gelman Library. For information about how to obtain your Alumni ID card, see the GWorld 2.0 Alumni ID Card web page.
Borrowing privileges are extended to GW Alumni for $50 per year. Payments should be made at the Circulation Desk in Gelman Library. For more information see details about Alumni borrowing privileges.