CrossTalk DC Conversations: DC Public Library's Peabody Room

Friday, July 15, 2016, 6:00 pm
Folger Theatre
Free, reservations required

Jerry A. McCoy, special collections librarian at the DC Public Library's Washingtonian and Peabody Room, offers a brief history of the Peabody Room (nearly destroyed by fire in 2007) and highlights artifacts of African-American history from its collections. The DC Public Library's Washingtoniana holds more than 25,000 books and other printed materials, covering all subjects related to the District of Columbia. The Peabody Room is a special collection of Georgetown neighborhood history that offers information about the community's homes, businesses, past residents, genealogy, and social history.  Additional information is available at

Jerry A. McCoy is a special collections librarian for the District of Columbia Public Library, sharing his time between the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library’s Washingtoniana and the Georgetown Neighborhood Library’s Peabody Room. The latter, a special collections of Georgetown history, houses books, subject files, photographs, maps, neighborhood microfilmed newspapers, paintings,  and artifacts that document Georgetown's political and social history. It also features house history files for nearly every home in Georgetown. 

A 2007 fire heavily damaged the Georgetown Neighborhood Library and destroyed about 10% of the Peabody Room's collections.  Numerous collections were water-damaged with the artworks being the most seriously impacted.  In 2010 the library reopened with a newly constructed, climate and security-controlled third floor that houses the new Peabody Room.


This program is one part of a nation-wide initiative, Humanities in the Public Square, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and aimed at fostering meaningful dialogue in communities about the most pressing issues of the day.