African American Heritage

Record Group 12, Records of the Office of Education


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The Office of Education collected and disseminated information concerning education in the United States and abroad, as well as promoted improved educational practices through financial assistance, special studies, and programs. Selected series within this record group include correspondence, photographs, publications, reports, research studies on integrated education, schooling for African American children and adults, and the public schools of the District of Columbia.

Clusters: Education and Culture

People of interest:

Ambrose Caliver (1894–1962) was born in Saltsville, Virginia. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Knoxville College in 1915, a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1920, and a Ph. D. from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in 1930. Caliver held many positions at Fisk University and was responsible for implementing its vocational education program before becoming the university’s first African American dean. In 1930, Caliver was appointed by President Herbert Hoover as the first Senior Specialist in the Education of Negroes in the U. S. Office of Education. He continued in this position under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was also Secretary of Interior in President Roosevelt’s "Black Cabinet." Through his position in the Office of Education, Caliver promoted national awareness on the disparities in education between Blacks and Whites. He also a created a nine-part radio series called Freedom Peoples that featured stories on African-American history and achievements.

Featured blog post in Rediscovering Black History: Ambrose Caliver, a Leader in 20th Century Black Education

Walter G. Daniel (1905–1996) earned an A. B. degree from Virginia Union University in 1926, an Ed. D. degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1927, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College in 1941. Daniel taught at Howard University until 1951, when he accepted the position as Specialist in Higher Education in the U.S. Office of Education. In 1961, he returned to Howard University to plan and develop a program for the preparation of elementary school teachers. Daniel wrote approximately 100 books, pamphlets, chapters, articles, editorials, and book reviews. He also served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Negro Education from 1963–1970.

Textual Records

Accounting Records, 1936-1937

National Archives Identifier: 789152

Annual Reports Received from Land-Grant Colleges, 1929

National Archives Identifier: 734587

Blank Inquiry Forms and Related Documentation, 1935–1937

National Archives Identifier: 789149

Central Files [CCC Education Program], 1934–1942

National Archives Identifier: 783859

Correspondence of Dr. Walter G. Daniel, 1951–1953

National Archives Identifier: 580318

Emergency School Assistance Program Case Files, 1971–1973, documenting the period ca. 1965–1973

National Archives Identifier: 1074745

These records may need to be screened for personal privacy information under 5 U.S.C. 552 (b) (6) prior to public release.

General Correspondence, 1935–1937 [National Survey of Vocational Education and Guidance of Negroes]

National Archives Identifier: 784174

Grant Management Files, 1972–1976

National Archives Identifier: 2668681

Historical Files, ca. 1909–1950, documenting the period 1870–1950

National Archives Identifier: 566333

Selected Categories
  • Negro Education (File 902)
  • Education of Immigrants (File 420)

Negro Education consists of surveys on Black education in the United States. Select surveys include: “Thirty-Two Years of Educational Pioneering: A Statement of the Philosophy, Organization and Administration of the Bethune-Cookman College Program for the Education of Negro Youth, 1904–36”; and a general survey of Black education made by the Office of Education in cooperation with the Phelps-Stokes Fund. The Negro education category also includes correspondence with Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

Manuscripts of Survey Reports from the National Survey of the Education of Teachers, 1932-1933

National Archives Identifier: 731185

Office Files, 1928–1980 [Commissioner of Education]

National Archives Identifier: 573507

Selected Categories
  • Racial Balance in Schools
  • Segregated Cafeterias
  • School District Plans under the Civil Rights Act
  • Student Unrest
  • Poor People’s Demands
  • Desegregation Plans
  • Urban Education
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Affirmative Action
  • Operation EXCEL
  • Civil Rights Compliance
  • Discrimination
  • Desegregation in Prince Edward County, VA
  • Brown v. Board of Education, 1954

These records may need to be screened for personal privacy information under 5 U.S.C. 552 (b) (6) prior to public release.

Some or all of the records in this series may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Office Files of Ambrose Caliver, ca. 1946–1962

National Archives Identifier: 731142

Office Files of the Specialists in Land-Grant College Statistics, 1912–1922

National Archives Identifier: 734572

Program Files [National Center for Education Statistics], 1972–1975

National Archives Identifier: 649949

These records may need to be screened for personal privacy information under 5 U.S.C. 552 (b) (6) prior to public release.

Publications Relating to Negro Higher Education, 1951–1953

National Archives Identifier: 650714

Some or all of the records in this series may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Records Relating to Appointment Data, 1934–1942

National Archives Identifier: 784131

Records Relating to Correspondence with Regional Directors, 1935–1937

National Archives Identifier: 789139

Records Relating to Desegregation in Education, 1962–1974

National Archives Identifier: 579894

Articles and publications of particular interest
  • "Brief for the United States on the Further Argument of the Questions of Relief", a booklet
  • "A Legal Authority Analyzes Proposals for Continuation of Separate Schools", an article by John T. Fey
  • The Nation's Schools magazine
  • newspaper clippings from The Washington Post and The Times Herald about the Brown v. Board of Education case
  • articles from US News & World Report (May 28, 1954) entitled "Will South End Negro Schools", and "What Negroes Want Now - Interview with Walter White, Secretary, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People"
  • the full text of the United States Supreme Court opinion on the Brown v. Board of Education case

Some or all of the records in this series may be subject to copyright restrictions.

Records Relating to Personnel Matters for the National Survey of the Education of Teachers, 1930-1933

National Archives Identifier: 731188

State Files Relating to Vocational Education, 1917–1937

National Archives Identifier: 749130

Survey Materials Relating to the National Survey of the Education of Teachers, 1930-1932

National Archives Identifier: 731180

Title IV Case Files, 1965–1970

National Archives Identifier: 649950

These records may need to be screened for personal privacy information under 5 U.S.C. 552 (b) (6) prior to public release.

Photographic Records

Education of Handicapped Children, 1938–1965

National Archives Identifier: 512757; Local Identifier: 12-HC

Some or all of the records in this series may be subject to copyright restrictions.

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