RG 348: Valerie Kitchens Papers, 1967-2010

Collection Number
RG 348
Valerie B. Kitchens was a local activist for conservation, wildlife, parks, and other political issues that impacted Arlington County and Northern Virginia. Kitchens became an influential force in several conservation organizations, including as a board member for Friends of Arlington Parks and the Arlington Outdoor Education Association. Birding and ornithology remained a special passion of Kitchens throughout her life. Active in local bird watching groups, Kitchens served as President of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Society of Ornithology. In broader local politics, Kitchens also was a part of the Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC), a non-partisan organization that supports and campaigns for candidates for both the Arlington County Board and School Board, as well as other local issues.

Kitchens was born on January 24, 1937, in Cresskill, New Jersey to Otto and Eva Berman. In 1964, she earned a master’s degree in Foreign Affairs from Georgetown University. In the same year, she married Allen H. Kitchens. They had two children, Sharon and Jeffrey. Kitchens passed away on February 16, 2013, in Arlington, Virginia.
Scope and Content
This small collection spans approximately .5 linear feet and dates from 1967-2010, with the bulk of materials dating from the late 1960s, as well as 1979-1992. The materials constitute a few records Valerie Kitchens saved from her involvement and membership in several conservation oriented groups, including the Arlington Outdoor Education Association, Audubon Naturalist Society, and Friends of Arlington Parks. Materials include newsletters, meeting minutes, agendas, correspondence, and as well as publications about local conservation issues. Additionally, there are papers Valerie and her husband, Allen, completed in the late 1960s recording use of bluebird houses for the Audubon Naturalist Society.
Arrangement and Description
These materials were divided into five series based on subject matter. The first three contain records Valerie Kitchens used and created as a member of three organizations. Series 1 contains Kitchens directors file for the Arlington Outdoor Education Association. Series 2 holds materials related to Audubon Naturalist Society and Kitchens’ ornithology related projects and writings. Series 3 covers her involvement with Friends of Arlington Parks. This series is divided into two subseries, one for newsletters (many of which Kitchens edited) and one for Kitchens’ extant folder of meeting notes, which include minutes, agendas, correspondence, constitution, and bylaws. Series 4 holds several publications related to parks and conservation Kitchens used and Series 5, Subject Files, holds miscellaneous materials.
This collection of papers was once donated to the Arlington Historical Society. In April 2014, the Arlington Historical Society donated the papers to the Center for Local History.
There are no known restrictions associated with these records.
Related Collections
Researchers particularly interested in Kitchens involvement with the Arlington Outdoor Education Association may find that organization’s records, housed in RG 111 Arlington Outdoor Education Association Records, particularly useful. Likewise RG 94, Arlingtonians for a Better County may include more details on Kitchens work with ABC.