Using the Historic Takoma Archives

The Historic Takoma Archives consist of various materials including maps, personal papers, photographs, newspapers, documents, objects, and memorabilia documenting Takoma Park’s history from its founding as an early railroad in the late 1800’s to the vibrant city it is today. These various materials are organized in various groups as described below.

Physical Archives

Hard copy materials (the vast bulk of the archives) are housed at the Historic Takoma Building at 7328 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park. Normally these materials are available for inspection by appointment. However, due to restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the building and archives are currently closed. Questions about access can be sent to archives@historictakoma.org.

Digital Archives

Historic Takoma has began an effort to digitize various documents and images to make them more widely available to the public. While this effort is underway various materials are available on an interim basis.

Early newspapers

House and Garden Tour Brochure Index.

House and Garden Tour brochures

Historic Takoma, Inc. Newsletters

Various documents (a preview of future materials)

Archive Materials & Access – The Details

General Archives

Description/Contents: 

Hard copy materials such as documents, maps, objects, and newspapers including those from the original Takoma Historical Society collections along with subsequent acquisitions of records and files from individuals and organizations. This archive also includes prints, slides, negatives including those from the original Takoma Historical Society collections along with subsequent acquisitions.

Included within the General Archives are hard copy of local newspapers such as The Takoma Voice and City of Takoma Park newsletters. The newspapers have not been indexed nor are they in a searchable format. Additional early newspapers were microfilmed and subsequently digitized.  These early newspapers are available only by viewing digital versions. See below.

Also included in the General Archives are a variety of photographs dating from the early 20th century through contemporary times.

Indexing:

Many of the materials in the General Archives have been indexed and catalogued, though often at a high level. Supplemental “guides” that may list folder level contents within boxes. Further indexing and cataloguing is ongoing.

Current indexes are available for review via a set of spreadsheet indexes. Each spreadsheet can be searched using the “Find” capability or sorted by column. There are three indexes:

  1. Accession – this index is a high level index showing what materials have been entered into the Historic Takoma Archives.
  2. Collection – this index contains detail within each Accession
  3. Photographs – this index contains information about photographs contained in the Historic Takoma Archives

NOTE: In general have not been indexed but many appear in the Accessions index.

Access:

Access to these materials requires an appointment to visit the Historic Takoma building. Appointments may be requested by contacting Historic Takoma or writing to archives@HistoricTakoma.org.  Note that appointments are currently suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.

When requesting an appointment please identify specific materials by Accession number and Location from the indexes.

Many of these materials have been indexed and catalogued, though often at a high level. Supplemental “guides” that may list folder level contents within boxes. Further indexing and cataloguing is ongoing.

Digital Repository

Description/Contents: 

Historic Takoma’s Archives Project includes digitizing portions of the Archives to be made available. This is an ongoing effort.

Indexing:

Indexes of digitized materials are not yet available.

Access:

Access to the collection of scanned early newspapers is HERE

Although an index of digitized materials is not yet available, various items are currently available HERE.

The library of House and Garden Tour brochures is also available HERE. See also House and Garden Tour Brochure Index.