George Melvin Richardson Collection, 1951-2013
Collection NumberRG 307
HistoryGeorge Melvin Richardson was born March 1, 1913, in Holdenville, Oklahoma. He came to Arlington County in 1954 to become principal of Hoffman-Boston (H-B) elementary and junior-senior high school and remained principal until the last class graduated in 1964. Mr. Richardson then became the vice-principal of Wakefield High School in Arlington shortly before transferring to the Montgomery County, Maryland, school system where he was assistant principal of Walt Whitman Middle School and later Assistant Principal of Churchill High School.
Mr. Richardson, his wife Oline, and son John lived in the neighborhood from which Hoffman-Boston drew its students, Arlington View (previously known as Johnson’s Hill). He was Chairman of the Neighborhood Conservation Program for Arlington View and was instrumental in the publication of the first neighborhood conservation plan in Arlington County, which became the blueprint for other neighborhood plans.
Mr. Richardson was appointed one of the 29 members of the committee to study integration in the public schools in Arlington County in 1954. He was a member of Arlington Committee of 100 and later served on its executive board.
Scope and ContentRG 307, the George Melvin Richardson Collection, is .63 linear feet and encompasses materials from 1951 to 2013, although the bulk of the materials date 1951-1975. Mr. Richardson was a great collector of newspaper clippings on the topics of Hoffman-Boston School and desegregation, which are included in this collection. In addition to some correspondence and papers from the Hoffman-Boston school there is a collection of photographs of the school and its sports activities. There are also collection materials on Arlington View in preparation for its neighborhood survey.
One of highlights of the collection is the dissertation submitted by Ophelia Braden Taylor as partial requirement for her Master of Arts in Education degree from Howard University entitled Public Education for Negroes in Arlington County from 1870 to 1950.
Arrangement and DescriptionThe collection was divided into series by subject with the preponderance of files concerning Hoffman-Boston School and Arlington View, but also including desegregation and publications on education. There are many newspaper clippings, some without the source and/or date. When possible the article was reprinted from the Washington Post online archive with the dates identified. Photographs were divided between those of the Hoffman-Boston School and the Arlington View neighborhood. These images have been scanned.
ProvenanceThe personal papers of George Melvin Richardson were donated by Mr. Richardson.
RestrictionsThere are no research restrictions on this collection.
Related CollectionsGeorge Richardson completed an oral history for the Center for Local History in October, 2013. It is Series 3, No. 263. For more information on the Arlington Public School system, look at RG 7: Arlington County Public Schools, RG 373: Hoffman-Boston High School Records, and RG 69: Arlington County Public Schools: Desegregation Materials. Information on an important Arlington African American family who invested and sold real estate, see RG 196: Syphax Family Collection.