“Answering the Call”: Digitizing the Archives of the National Education Association

Material Description

The archives of the National Education Association (NEA) comprise over 2,200 linear feet of records documenting the history of the largest labor union in the U.S., as well as the evolution of national policy for public schools and the professionalization of teachers, school administrators, and other education-related labor areas. Dating from 1857 to the present, with bulk dates of 1920 - 2000, the collection consists of a vast array of publications of the NEA, its affiliates and predecessors, as well as rich manuscript materials, photographs, and audiovisual recordings. The research reports, policy papers, newsletters, magazines, conference proceedings, and other print materials provide unprecedented documentation of the development of American education policy, including such topics as segregation, school choice, education of immigrants, and the role of public and private education in civic society. This collection has been identified as having particularly high impact for both academic and public discourses, and as having high value-added potential for digitization due to being fully processed and having a large body of print materials ready for text extraction and data mining. Due to the collection’s vast size, a core of serial publications and collection series have been pre-selected for digitization, to be supplemented by additional nominations made by an Advisory Group representing user communities from diverse fields of study. This approach assures that a critical mass of material will be selected to document NEA’s activities and research, as well as inviting a wide base of expertise to surface formerly hidden topics in the material.

Year Added:



The George Washington University


Ms. Rachel Trent
GW Libraries

Date Range

1857 - 2014

Geographic Scope

The NEA is a national membership organization representing all 50 states. Its Research Division produced influential reports comparing and analysing nationwide statistics on levels of education, income, voting, literacy, immigration and citizenship, ethnicity and other topics relevant to education policy.


  • 962 Books