Photo by the author.

Spring in Washington brings budding cherry blossoms, Word Series optimism for the Nationals, and a collection of history-themed events: a DC Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, a new book on Civil War Washington, call for papers for the DC Historical Studies Conference, and more.

The moveDC project is also in the midst of four public workshops to collect public input for a long-term transportation plan for the District. The meetings are Tuesday, March 26 on Capitol Hill (Ludlow-Taylor Elementary, 659 G St. NE) and Thursday, March 28 at Wilson High (3950 Chesapeake St. NW), 6-8 pm.

DC History Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

For Wikipedia-philes like GGW contributor Adam Lewis, this Saturday, March 23rd, from 10 am to 4 pm, the Historical Society of Washington (HSW) at 801 K Street NW is the place to be to add information on DC history to the collaborative encyclopedia.

"The Historical Society is excited to partner with Wikimedia DC, the George Washington University, and Special Collections at DC Public Library to offer both experienced editors and those new to Wikipedia access to all the valuable resources that document the city’s history,” says Jennifer Krafchik, Director of HSW’s Kiplinger Research Library. “This is a part of our ongoing effort to be the community’s portal to Washington history and we are delighted to make more of our unique resources available to the public.”

Prior editing experience is not required to participate. A few spots remain. RSVP to and come with your own WiFi-enabled laptop computer.

DC by the Book launch party

On Wednesday, March 27th from 6-8 pm, “DC By the Book” will be unveiled at the 5th & K Streets Busboys & Poets.  It is an interactive literary map of the District, which allows users to explore the landscape of Washington, DC as it has been represented in fiction.

The launch event will feature readings from fictional works written in and about Washington, DC Guests will inclide Thomas Mallon (Watergate), Adam McKible (EC Williams’ When Washington Was in Vogue), Ann McLaughlin (The House on Q Street), and Mark Athitakis will serve as the master of ceremonies. Laptop “exploration stations” will let people try out “DC By the Book” and upload content from their own reads. Contact to learn more.

New book on Civil War Washington

In 2003, Washington Post book critic, Jonathan Yardley, wrote, “The best ‘Washington novel’ isn’t a novel at all. Published six decades ago, Margaret Leech‘s Reveille in Washington: 1860-1865 is what academic historians condescendingly call “popular history,” written with the novelist’s eye for character and telling detail as well as the novelist’s command of narrative. The story of the District of Columbia during the Civil War, Reveille in Washington is still authoritative as history and is something of a masterpiece of storytelling.”

Whether you’re familiar with “Reveille” or not, if there was ever a time to read up on Washington’s Civil War history it is now, in the throes of the conflict’s sesquicentennial. A new book, A Guide to Civil War Washington, DC: The Capital of the Union, by Lucinda Prout Janke, arrives like clock work.

On DC’s Emancipation Day, Tuesday, April 16th from 11 am to 2 pm, HSW will host a book talk and reception for the first such guide issued in over a decade. On the 151st anniversary of the signing of the DC Compensated Emancipation Act, Janke will discuss its effects on the city’s demographics and how the law got its own local holiday.

DC Library’s “Know Your Neighborhood” lecture series

On Wednesday, April 3rd, as part of the DC Public Library’s ongoing “Know Your Neighborhood” lecture series, local history polymath Brian Kraft will present on the past and present of Columbia Heights in the broader context of the history of urban America and the neighborhood impact of landmark court decisions and 1968 riots.

Kraft will use maps and photos and other images to illustrate the neighborhood’s beginnings, physical development, demographic upheavals, and recent resurgence. The presentation will start at 6:30 pm at the Mt. Pleasant Branch Library (3160 16th Street NW).

On Wednesday, April 17th at 6:30 pm, John DeFerrari will present a lecture on the Historic Bridges of Rock Creek Park, and on Saturday, April 20th at 2 pm Mara Cherkasky will present on the history of Mt. Pleasant.

Call for Papers for the DC Historical Studies Conference

The DC Historical Studies Conference has been an annual contact zone since the 1970’s for scholars, students, and neighborhood leaders to discuss, share, and analyze all matters, persons, places, and things related to the history of the Washington metropolitan area.

The theme for this year’s conference, the 40th, is “Marching on Washington,” which covers a diverse range of anniversaries: the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, 1973 initiation of modern Home Rule, the centennial of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession, and the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Conference themes are not exclusive; people are welcome to presentat any new historical research about DC.  Past presentations have considered art, archaeology, architecture, biography, DC governance, demography, geography, law, military, music, neighborhoods, race relations, schools, as well as oral history techniques and archival collection reviews.

The deadline for submissions is May 1st. More information here (PDF).