RG 3: Arlington Hall, Collected Materials, 1929-1993

Collection Number
RG 3
Arlington Hall was an operating junior college and high school from 1927 to 1942. It suffered financial problems in the 1930s, and finally became a non profit institution in 1940. In 1942 the facility faced condemnation and was taken over by the Secretary of War under the Second War Powers Act. Deemed essential for the war effort, the school became the headquarters of the Army Signal Corps, later the Intelligence and Security Command; at this time it became known as Arlington Hall Station. Important work in cryptography, including the breaking of enemy codes, was done there during World War II. Following the creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1961, a major center of that agency was housed there.

In 1986, the Department of State began a study of Arlington Hall as a site for their Foreign Service training. The National Guard Bureau also assessed the site for a center in 1988. These projects have been realized. Today both the National Foreign Affairs Training Center and the Army National Guard Readiness Center operate out of Arlington Hall. Other items in the collection show the significant interest in the Arlington Hall property by the surrounding community, including a campaign to limit government expansion on the site, and return the property to Arlington.
Scope and Content
The Arlington Hall Record Group covers the history of the Arlington Hall Junior College, with materials published between 1928 and 1993. Most of the materials came from alumnae and are in the form of yearbooks, newsletters, college catalogs, scrapbooks, photographs, and assorted ephemera, reflecting the use of Arlington Hall as a college. The rest of the material has been gathered from various sources over time, and reflects later uses of the property. The collection currently measures about 12 linear feet.

This collection is active. We will continue to add material about the college obtained through the Alumnae Association or other sources, and will also include information on current and future use of the property.
Arrangement and Description
Record Group 3 is arranged in seven subgroups. The first three of these contain materials from the original college, including yearbooks, school publications and a student scrapbook. Programs and copies of “The Yarn” from 1938 and 1939 were found in a donated 1939 yearbook. Subgroup 4 holds alumnae materials gathered over the years, some arranged in notebooks, and alumnae bulletins which contain information on reunions. Subgroup 5 addresses the broad history of the school in monographs and statements, news clippings, reports, and coverage of special events from 1927 to the present, including the War Department's takeover of the facility. This group also houses some more recent land use reports.

Subgroup 6 contains photographs in three series. The first covers college life. The second shows various military scenes and activities at Arlington Hall Station. The third includes alumnae activities such as reunions and other ceremonial occasions. Subgroup 7 houses two videotape productions. The first is a history of Arlington Hall produced by the Army, and the second covers the opening of the State Department's Foreign Affairs Training Center.


There is a large group of photographs in the alumnae scrapbook in Subgroup 4. While many of these reflect the history of the school, several document the history of various alumnae families. Subgroup 6 includes pictures of school activities and of the buildings and grounds. There are also pictures from the Signal Corps era, scenes of building construction and military activities. Alumnae history in later years is also represented in photos of reunions and other programs involving the new Army and State Department facilities on the property. Almost all the images are black and white. There are no negatives. All the photos fall under Center for Local History photo policies and procedures. The staff can provide details.
The major accessions for this group came from the Arlington Hall Alumnae Association and the Commander, Intelligence and Security Command.
There are no research restrictions on this record group.