Anne Spencer House

Anne_Bethel_Spencer_in_her_wedding_dressThe Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum preserves the home, garden, and studio of a Harlem Renaissance-era poet in Lynchburg, VA. Nationally known for her poems in the 1920s, she also hosted prominent African-Americans travelling south at a time when few public accommodations existed. Notable guests included George Washington Carver, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks is a research institution associated with Harvard University.  They operate a museum of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art, maintain magnificent historic gardens, and run a research library.

Folger Shakespeare Library

The Folger has the world’s largest collection of materials relating to William Shakespeare.  The library also hosts plays, concerts, and O.B. Hardison, Jr. poetry reading series.  Other programs include exhibitions, lectures, teacher training, family programs, and the PEN/Faulkner reading series.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

The National Park Service maintains Cedar Hill, home from 1877 to 1895 to the nation’s leading 19th c. African American spokesman, and the author of My Bondage and My Freedom and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Located in the Anacostia neighborhood of DC, the museum also has a gift shop and a recreation of Douglass’s studio, the Growlery.

Joaquin Miller Cabin

Joaquin Miller, known as the “Poet of the Sierras,” built his modest log cabin on Meridian Hill (now Malcolm X Park in DC).  The cabin was moved to this location in Rock Creek Park, and is maintained by the National Park Service.  Located at Picnic Grove 6, near the intersection of Beach Drive and Military Road.

Katherine Anne Porter Room

The Special Collections of the University of Maryland Libraries maintain the Porter Collection in Hornbake Library on the College Park, MD campus.  The room includes Porter’s personal library, papers, furnishings, and memorabilia.

Library of Congress

LoC interior (roof)The LoC is an amazing resource. Information on the extensive collections (books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, prints, recordings, etc.), as well as the numerous public programs including readings and films and author talks. Special features of the site include “This Day in History”; web exhibits on such topics as Thomas Jefferson, Russia, and Bob Hope; the American Memory section with connections to original reference materials; a children’s section, “The Poet and the Poem” webcasts, the Archive of Recorded Poetry and “Poetry 180,” an initiative begun by former poet laureate Billy Collins to provide daily poems designed to be read by high school students. LoC Publications prints books, catalogues, and pamphlets about the library and its holdings.  Also of special interest is the National Book Festival, the Center for the Book, with affiliated centers across the nation, the US Copyright Office, and the Office of the US Poet Laureate.

Literary Museum of the Five Russian Poets of the Silver Age

This museum, open by appointment, has exhibits on Marina Tsvataeva, Osip Mandelstam, Boris Pasternak, Anna Akhmatova, and Nicolai Gumilev.  The museum also maintains a Composers Meadow, and the Alley of Russian Poets, a line of memorial trees (columnar European hornbeams) planted in memory of Russian poets, located outside the Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street NW, Glover Park neighborhood, DC. Each tree is marked by a marble plate.

National Archives

National ArchivesThe National Archives and Records Administration has collections of government records, including census and military records.  They maintain a museum, offer free geneology workshops, and host films and lectures.

Rachel Carson Council

The Rachel Carson Council preserves Carson’s home, a National Historic Landmark, but it is not open to the public.  The Council works to preserve Carson’s legacy through publications, education, and events.

Thurgood Marshall Center

The Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage, located in the historic old 12th Street Y in the historic U Street neighborhood, was briefly the home of Langston Hughes in the 1920s.  Historic displays on the first and second floors tell the history of the building, and eminent YMCA members.