These records document the activities of the Department of Education, Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. The records include correspondence and memoranda to and from the Chief of the department, Zora Martin-Felton, exhibition scripts and related materials, administrative files, committee reports and meeting minutes, appointment calendars, and miscellaneous records. The bulk of the correspondence is between Martin-Felton and different departments within the museum, including the Directors, John R. Kinard and Steven Cameron Newsome. Additional correspondence is to and from Zora Martin-Felton when she was the Acting Director of the museum from August through December 1989, following John R. Kinard's death in 1989. There is a small amount of correspondence between Martin-Felton and Barbara Sizemore, Superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools.
James E. Mayo, Supervisory Exhibitions Specialist, and Sharon A. Reinckens, Chief, Department of Design, succeeded Martin-Felton and served as Interim Co-Directors from January 1,1990 to February 28, 1991. Steven Cameron Newsome became the museum's Director on March 1, 1991. Correspondence between the Interim Co-Directors and Martin-Felton concerns, among other issues, the hiring of the new Director, collecting and programming efforts, focusing on local and regional communities, exhibitions on the arts, social urban history and problems, and sharpening the focus of the museum's mission.
There is also correspondence between Martin-Felton and other offices, divisions and bureaus of the Smithsonian. The bulk of the correspondence is from museum visitors seeking information on various subjects, particularly materials on events, families or buildings in the neighborhood in which the museum is located, the Southeast area of the District of Columbia. Some of the correspondence includes commentaries on the museum's exhibitions. Elementary and secondary school teachers wrote to Martin-Felton, either seeking materials on the history of Africa and the African Americans or inviting her to speak to history and social science classes.
Other records pertain to some of the museum education workshops which Zora Martin-Felton organized and carried out at the museum and in the neighborhood schools and other centers of learning. There are copies, notes and reference materials of Martin-Felton's speeches to various civic and academic organizations within the District of Columbia and abroad, including research notes, flyers, pamphlets and brochures pertaining to some of the exhibitions and education programs at the museum. There is a substantial quantity of research notes and a manuscript for "A Different Drummer: John R. Kinard and Anacostia Museum, 1967-1989", a book Martin-Felton coauthored with Gail S. Lowe.
The records are interspersed with information on budget, volunteer, and student and teacher internship programs, and statistical records about public visits to the museum. Included are exhibition scripts; statements and labels; newspaper clippings; exhibition reviews; black and white photographs; color prints; color slides; miscellaneous materials concerning outreach activities; drawings and sketches; copies of some of Kinard's speeches and published works; newspaper and journal articles by and about Kinard; typescripts of Kinard's testimony before the United States House of Representatives, Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Government Activities and Transportation; names and addresses of Martin-Felton's professional contacts; and miscellaneous administrative files.