The library contains the Washington Star Collection. This newspaper was the first American paper to publish telegraphic weather reports which were being supplied on an experimental basis to the Smithsonian Institution. On May 1, 1857, the Washington Evening Star published a report of the current weather at nineteen telegraph stations, all near the eastern seaboard from New York to New Orleans. A week later, on May 7, the Star published the first weather forecast in America, probably prepared by Joseph Henry and James Espy:
Yesterday there was a severe storm south of Macon, Ga; but from the fact that it is still clear this morning at that place and at Wheeling, it is probable that the storm was of a local character.