Virginia Historical Society
Present at the meeting: Co-Chairs: Dr. James Sweeney and Sonia Yaco, Old Dominion University; Derek Gray, DC Public Library, MLK Memorial; Bob Vay, George Mason; Alfred Willis, Hampton University; Conley Edwards, Jennifer Davis McDaid, LVA; Jefferson Moak NARA – Mid Atlantic; George Schaefer, Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk; Charles H. Ford, Norfolk State University; Ann Southwell, Ellen Welch, UVA; M. Alison White, UVA Law School; Brian Daugherity, VCU; Jodi Koste, VCU (Medical College of Virginia); Lee Shepard, Lauranett Lee, Eileen Parris, Va Historical Society; Lucious Edwards, Va. State University;
1. Phase 1 – Electronic survey to gather information on the school desegregation records already in libraries and archives.
a. Sonia Yaco gave a demonstration of the online database for Phase 1 that was requested at the last meeting. The DOVE home page is:
The database can be viewed by anyone, but the data entry form is password protected. Contact Sonia Yaco for the password
The use of names for school districts that may have since merged was discussed. The consensus was that the names used at the time of the record created should be used. Alison White volunteered to work on a list of historic school district names. Jody Koste and Eileen Parris volunteered to work on a data dictionary for the database to provide name authority for the repository, creator and geographic/school district coverage fields. It was recommended that a field be added for links to finding aids or other catalogs. An import function was requested to bring MARC and EAD records into the DOVE database.
b. Funding possibilities
Considering school desegregation records to be part of legal history not just educational history could open new avenues of granting agencies such as the Virginia State Bar Association, a state agency, or Old Dominion Bar Association, an African-American group.
Lauranett Lee mentioned Teaching American History grants through the US Department of Education. She recommended Bill Obrochta at VHS as a source for information on these grants. Andy Mink at UVA would be a contact for Virginia Foundation for the Humanities
Suggested items to include in the grants: Travel, telecommunications, postage, IT at ODU, task force expenses. A grant of at $25,000 is probably needed.
Other possible funding sources include: Oliver Hill Commission, (contact Esther Vaster), Judge Merhige’s son’s commission, King Commission, Ford Foundation, although that seems to be for advocacy, and the NEH.
Charles Ford, Alford Willis, and Sonia Yaco will work on a grants subcommittee.
2. Phase 2 – Regional task forces to identify other records holders and inventory their records.
a. Chairs have been found for the following regions:
Lucious Edwards, VSU – Eastern shore and Southside
Jody Koste, VCU – temporary chair for Piedmont
John Kirn, Va. Department of Historic Resources – Southwest
Ted Delaney, Washington and Lee may be willing to chair Valley of Virginia
Jim Hirschman and Bob Vay – Northern Virginia
a chair has not been found for Tidewater
identify resources, make a union list
add more access points to resources
We need to decide what the collection level of description will be. There is a need to describe sections of a collection that relates to school desegregation. A hierarchical database that can relate repository to collection to series or subseries should be built into the database.
There was discussion over whether all collections we survey should be included in the catalogue and how will we deal with privately held collections. We want to be able to inventory them, but prevent those people from being overrun by researchers wanting access. Among the suggestions were that institutions could restrict access to records they create; only those institutions to contribute to the catalogue would have access to those records, or simply not entering those into the catalogue.
There was more consensus on listing collections held at public institutions that have access restrictions or public records held by reluctant administrators — such as school board records. People seem to agree that those records should be listed.
Jennifer McDaid said that creation of the catalogue will require in person discussions with archivists who will be familiar with school desegregation records that exists within collections. Collections may be described in Marc records or EAD records but the school desegregation aspect of them may not be inherent in that description.
She also mentioned Dove to a superintendent’s group and wondered when we would be getting back to them, and whether that would be during Phase 1 or Phase 2 project. The consensus of the group was that was a Phase 2.
d. Timeline – Phase 1 – 1 year from when grant begins
3. Next meeting items
Subcommittee report on grant possibilities
Subcommittee report on progress on data dictionary
Discussion of creation of a brochure for Dove publicity and collection solicitation
4. Next meeting will be November 18 at 1 p.m. at VHS.
We have reserved room at Bandito’s Burrito Lounge (2905 Patterson Ave) for an 11:30 AM lunch prior to the meeting.