Literary District of Columbia
The mother ship of all published works in the US is the Library of Congress. If you visit no other literary site in DC, go there for its resources, artistry, history, power, and regal environment. Tours are available.
At the Smithsonian, visit the kitchen of cookbook author Julia Child and the ruby red slippers of The Wizard of Oz, based on the book by L. Frank Baum. Then cross over the river to step back in time and tour the house of former enslaved person and author Frederick Douglass.
Also, don’t miss the memorials of two literary giants, Thomas Jefferson (primary author of the Declaration of Independence) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Watch a quick video here: MLK Monument.) More information about Thomas Jefferson can be found in our Virginia section here: Thomas Jefferson in Virginia. Additional Martin Luther King, Jr., literary sites can be found in our Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee sections: MLK in Alabama, MLK in Georgia, and MLK in Tennessee.
Click on the links below to read about the major sites on our DC Author Adventures Trail.
A. Margaret Truman
B. Michael Shiner
C. Smithsonian National Museum of American History (L. Frank Baum, Julia Child)
D. National Museum of African American History
E. Library of Congress
F. Frederick Douglass
These are just a sampling of DC literary sites. A wide variety of writers have made DC their home, such as Henry Adams, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Sinclair Lewis, Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson, Toni Morrison, Walt Whitman, and, of course, many authors who served as US presidents.
We recommend perusing www.dcwriters.org, which has identified numerous writers’ homes in the DC area. Most are not open to the public, but just seeing the vast constellation of them on one map is extremely impressive.
Follow our DC trail map:
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