RG 19: Personal Papers of Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell, 1942-1991
Collection NumberRG 19
HistoryElizabeth Pfohl (1902-2004) was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and attended Salem College. Before moving to Arlington, Mrs. Campbell was a college administrator at Moravian College for Women in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. In 1936, she married Edmund D. Campbell, a Washington lawyer, and moved to Arlington. Mrs. Campbell has long been involved in Arlington County educational and civic issues and active in many civic associations throughout her long life. She was a member of the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters, Church Women United, Women's Democratic Club, and the Arlington County Citizen's Committee for School Improvement (CCSI). Mrs. Campbell's involvement in the CCSI prompted her to run as a candidate for the first elected Arlington County School Board in 1947, and she served from 1948 through 1955. In 1956, the Virginia General Assembly mandated appointed school boards and Mrs. Campbell accepted an appointment, serving from 1960 to 1963.
In 1956, Elizabeth Campbell joined the Greater Washington Educational Television Association and became president of the organization the following year. This group worked to establish Channel 26 as an educational television station, as appointed by the Federal Communications Commission in 1952. In October of 1961, with funding and infrastructure in place, the FCC application for WETA went through, and the station started broadcast. Campbell stayed as president of WETA until 1971 but stayed on as Vice President of Community Affairs until her death in 2004.
Scope and ContentRG 19 are papers collected and generated by Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell. The collection measures approximately seven linear feet and covers the period from 1945 through 1991, with the bulk of the material falling between 1947 and 1959.
The materials arranged in this collection were generated or collected through Mrs. Campbell's involvement in the Arlington County School Board, as well as her interests and activities in education and local politics. School Board documents found in Subgroup 1 include member correspondence, Board minutes, budgets, bond information, superintendent nomination and selection files, annual reports, handbooks, and integration plans, studies, and follow up reports. These documents cover the 1946 through 1991 period.
The record group also houses a wide variety of publications and reports generated by local civic associations and committees. Most focus on educational issues, and many on the efforts to integrate Arlington public schools in the mid 1950s. These materials represent the various opinions of Arlington citizens concerning the integration issue. The clippings and literature files arranged in Series 6, Ephemera, also reflect the attitudes and opinions of citizens and government during the period of integration, on both national and local levels. Also included in Series 6 is a file on Edmund Campbell's activities and honors and materials from a scrapbook of his activities, which includes clippings, correspondence, and a few photographs. As a member of the Women's Democratic Club and the League of Women Voters, Mrs. Campbell was active in local partisan politics. A limited amount of printed campaign and issue literature for the mid 1950s period is arranged in Series 3.
Arlington County, federal, and state documents are arranged in Series 4 and Series 5. In these groups, researchers will find reports, brochures, legal testimony and other documents focusing on educational issues, general public relations, community services, and mental health.
Series 7 is primarily videotaped material on Mrs. Campbell's life and activities, and to a lesser extent her husband Ed Campbell. It includes records and tapes of interviews for a program, "Creating a Life, the Campbell Project.” Elizabeth Campbell assigned Rebecca Leet, whom Campbell had met when Leet worked for WETA, to fundraise for the documentary and execute it. Leet worked on the project between 1991 and 1992, for about six to nine months. According to an informal interview with Leet and CLH staff, Arlington Community TV filmed all the footage, while Leet conducted all the interviews and remained responsible creatively for the final project. WETA and other donors funded the documentary. WETA possibly aired the documentary once or twice in 1992.
Arrangement and DescriptionRecord Group 19 is arranged into seven subgroups according to either broad interest, activity, or membership of Mrs. Campbell. Each subgroup is further divided into record series based on either type of material, issue, or association. Folders containing photographs have an asterisk [*] after the file name. Folders with oversized materials have a double asterisk [**] to denote where material was removed and separation sheets added.
For Series 7, all tapes, which are in BETACAM and VHS formats, are filed alphabetically by the title given to the tape by Leet and Arlington Community TV. Before all tapes are files of handwritten logs of the project and computer logs and cross-reference lists of BETA and VHS tapes.
ProvenanceThis collection was donated in three parts; the papers were donated by the Campbells in 1990, the tapes for the documentary were donated by the Campbell Foundation in 1992, and the scrapbook in Series 6 was donated in 1998.
RestrictionsThere are no research restrictions on Record Group 19.
Related CollectionsResearchers interested in Arlington County educational and integration issues of this period will find complementary information in RG 18, The Papers of Barbara Marx and RG 69, Arlington County School Desegregation Materials. RG 9, The Records of the Citizens Committee for School Improvement also houses information on education in Arlington County, as well as limited files concerning Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell. Information concerning the Arlington public school system can be found in RG 7, Arlington Public Schools. For records of organizations of which Campbell was a member, there are the following record groups: RG 33, American Association of University Women Records, RG 44, Arlington League of Women Voters Records, and RG 97, Church Women United.