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GW Named Official Home of National Education Association Archives and Records

University’s Labor History Research Center to House Library of NEA History

WASHINGTON - May 09, 2011 -

The National Education Association (NEA) archives have found a home at the George Washington University’s International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Labor History Research Center located within the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library in Northwest Washington. The collection contains more than 3,350 boxes of historical materials, including a complete library of NEA publications, books, its charter, photographs, legal documents, correspondence, speeches and lectures. 

 “I am deeply grateful to the National Education Association for entrusting George Washington with this extraordinary collection," said GW President Knapp.  "The collection will be a tremendous resource for the study of labor history and education policy and will draw students and scholars from across this nation and beyond.”

The NEA Foundation is the lead contributor for the NEA archives endowment.  As a result of the foundation’s significant contributions, GW will be able to preserve and ensure that these institutional and personal materials will be available for study and research by generations to come.

 “NEA’s archives will have an indelible impact on anyone who chooses to learn about the National Education Association and the history of public education in our nation,” said John Wilson, executive director of NEA.  “Our history is inextricably linked to America’s history - all part of the same cloth that is colored in both struggle and progress. We are extremely grateful to the NEA Foundation for making it possible to preserve NEA’s unique place in history.”

 The National Education Association Records will be a premier collection in the IBT Labor History Research Center, which includes a reading room and multi-purpose space endowed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. 

 “The NEA recognized the need to preserve its historical files and create a storehouse that will maintain accurate documentation of the history of American education and education policy,” said Meredith Evans Raiford, director of GW Special Collections Research Center.  “The NEA archives endowment will support an archivist, preservation and programming as it relates to the collection, and we are honored to keep the NEA legacy alive.”

The NEA records will add to the collected works of historical documents and treasures already featured at GW’s Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library. Last month, the university welcomed The William L. Taylor Papers, the historical papers of the late civil rights attorney and education activist, William L. Taylor.

 In February, the Africana Research Center acquired the historical papers and original artifacts from legendary Ben’s Chili Bowl, one of the most prominent and successful minority-owned businesses to date.

The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

The George Washington University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center collects, preserves and makes accessible primary resources and rare materials to researchers within and outside of the GW community. For additional information on the Special Collections Research Center, located in the Gelman Library, visit

For high-resolution photos of last week’s event, please contact Courtney Bowe at 202-994-5631 or


CONTACT: Courtney Bowe  202-994-5631,
                            Christiana Campos  202-822-7261,