The Special Collections Research Center participates in and supports time-based projects that leverage our local collections and related materials across other repositories.
In 2017, National Education Association Project Archivist Vakil Smallen interviewed four retired NEA staff members as part of an oral history project. These four men-Dale Lestina, Ken Melley, John Dunlop, and Richard Nuanes-were part of an important era in the history of the nation's largest professional employee organization. They all began working at NEA in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a time when the Association was re-imagining its role. Escaping its conservative past, defined by administrators, the Association began to embrace collective bargaining, strikes by educators, and a more active role in national politics. These men played key roles in that transition. The interviews have been added to the National Education Association Collection held in the Special Collections Research Center at the George Washington University. The Collection Guide can be found here. All recordings and transcripts can also be found at the Internet Archive.
In 2014, several important people who had worked on the Marion Barry 1978 mayoral campaign decided that capturing the memories of people who were part of the Barry campaign was essential to preserving history. They recruited a dedicated core group to conduct the interviews and partnered with the Special Collections Research Center at The George Washington University to serve as the collection repository. Use the Collection Guide to see a list of the interviewees and listen to the recordings and read the transcripts. All these files are also found in the Internet Archive using this link https://go.gwu.edu/marionbarryproject
GW President's Archival Research Project
In 2016, President Knapp's office funded a one-year project to increase and share basic historical knowledge about controversial and timely events in GW’s history. Topics related to slavery, race, and diversity were the project's focus, because those were often the least-well-documented subjects in the existing secondary literature and official histories of the university. The project produced two types of resources: in-depth articles with full citations to archival and other resources and summaries, which can be found on the GW Past website.
D.C. Africana Archives Project, 2014-2017
George Washington University's Special Collections Research Center and Africana Studies Program joined with five partner archives throughout the city to enhance access to previously unavailable research materials that document the history of the African diaspora in DC, the civil rights movements, the struggle for Home Rule, the rise of Black-owned businesses, the development of Howard University, slavery in the nation’s capital, jazz music in D.C., and the literary arts. Made possible by a grant to the GW Libraries from the Council on Library and Information Resources. See archived versions of the project website for more details.
The Special Collections Research Center collects and preserves material related to the Washington Writers' Archive. The collection focuses on Washington, D.C. writers and possesses a particular strength in the D.C. poetry community. Collection efforts include personal papers, published and unpublished works, publishing house records, and papers belonging to other writer organizations.
Explore past and present Digital Showcases that highlight GW Libraries' collections, services, and activities -- with a special focus on rare and unique materials from Special Collections.