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View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

Georgetown College in the 18th Century

This guide is intended as a starting point for finding materials relating to the founding and development of Georgetown College in the 18th century

Secondary Sources


The history books listed below are useful starting points for research on Georgetown University in the 18th century. They are available in the general collection of Lauinger Library; links to their call numbers are included. They are also available for use in the University Archives. The Archives' copies do not circulate; request them for use in the Booth Family Center for Special Collections via the Aeon request system


  • Daley, John M. Georgetown University : origin and early years.  Washington, D.C. : Georgetown University Press, 1957

    This book covers the period from Georgetown’s founding in the 1780s through 1833. The work is excellently footnoted and researchers can easily see what materials to request for additional information on a mentioned event, person, building or subject.


  • Curran, Robert Emmett. A history of Georgetown University.  Washington, D.C. : Georgetown University Press, 2010 

    A three volume set, this is the most comprehensive University history. Volume 1 covers 1789-1889, volume 2 covers 1889-1964, and volume 3 covers 1964-1989. Chapters 1 and 2 of volume 1 cover the 18th century. Don’t overlook the appendices provide statistics about students and student enrollments, rosters of University officials, and construction dates for campus buildings.


  • Shea, John Gilmary. Memorial of the first centenary of Georgetown College, D.C., comprising a history of Georgetown University.  Washington, D.C., New York, Pub. for the College by P.F. Collier, 1891

    This book was published to celebrate Georgetown’s 100th anniversary. It lacks a back-of-the-book index or footnotes. Its contents are arranged chronologically, with each of its chapters covering the term of one Georgetown president. Line drawings of campus, buildings, and people are included and transcriptions of a number of key documents in the University's history are provided. Chapters I, II, III, and IV cover the 18th century.

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