The Project is seeking to archive and preserve thousands of lost records covering 1864 to 1968 that were almost burned. These include documents and photographs which we would like to make available for study and interpretation of the educational system during a pivotal time.
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About the Catalogue

The catalogue consists of the records that were rescued from an abandoned schoolhouse in Leesburg as well as privately held documents from history clubs like the Lovettsville Historical Society, the Prosperity Baptist Church in Conklin (South Riding, Loudoun County), the Balch Library in Leesburg, and institutions such Virginia State University, Howard University, Swarthmore and others. The catalogue organizes the material by topic and includes research notes, photographs and links to primary documents. The cataloging numbering system corresponds to the numbering on the physical collection boxes.

Physical preservation of the records starts with each document and book being scanned and filed in preservation collection boxes, which are organized into 15 categories, which corresponds to the catalogue numbering system.  Digital scans of the documents are held on two external hard drives. A small portion of the primary documents are currently available online but project volunteers are working on a more comprehensive online collection. Persons interested in a topic listed in this online catalogue are welcome to contact the project administration and make a request for materials if they cannot be found here.

Volunteers at the Edwin Washington Project are working on making these records available to the public both in a physical space and digitally through this website. In addition to providing access to the primary documents contained in the collection, the project volunteers are doing research on various topics, which will be presented on this website as well as in a book called Dirt Don’t Burn, the title of which is inspired by a school teacher who complained about running out of coal and wood one very cold winter.

We would like to thank Loudoun County Public Schools, the NAACP, the Balch Library, the Black History Committee of the Friends of the Balch Library, the Lovettsville Historical Society, the members of the Prosperity Baptist Church, Wynne Saffer, Gene Scheel, Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, and the archives of the Circuit Court of Loudoun County for their assistance.