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The story of public school desegregation in Virginia is now richly documented and made accessible by the County that led the way.

“Project DAPS” is a unique online exhibition and searchable database of archival materials related to the legal and moral battles that culminated with four courageous African American students taking their seats on Feb. 2, 1959 at Arlington’s Stratford Junior High School. The project explores the full historic narrative, starting with Arlington’s rapid growth of the 1940s. In 2016, the Stratford school property was declared a local historic district.

Project DAPS is culled from the holdings of the Arlington Public Library’s Community Archives in the Center for Local History and includes thousands of photos, documents and recordings. Many items were only recently digitized.

Because there are always more layers of history to find and examine, the Center for Local History continually seeks community donations and oral histories, particularly as they relate to desegregation following the historic day at Stratford. If you have something to donate, contact the Center at 703-228-5966 or by email.

This digital access project was completed using new FY2017 funding in the Department of Libraries budget dedicated to increasing public access to government records and archival materials.

The Center for Local History at Arlington Public Library is committed to collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of Arlington County. To learn more about the Center for Local History, click this link