Mary Walton Livingston papers C0321
Published by George Mason University Libraries
Mary Walton Livingston was an archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), a founding member of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill in Alexandria, and a community advocate for integration and equal education for African-American students.
Livingston was born in Fairfax, VA in 1914 and attended Fairfax County public schools throughout most of her childhood before graduating from the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., and heading off to Sweet Briar College at age 17. After her college graduation, Livingston returned to Fairfax to work for the county's Chamber of Commerce and then joined NARA. At age 23, she became president of the local chapter of the Business and Professional Women's Club.
Livingston married the late Schuyler Livingston in 1939 and they had three children. Committed to the idea of integration and equal education for African-American students, Livingston worked on biracial church and PTA groups to keep the public schools operating during the period of resistance to court-ordered desegregation in the late 1950s. In 1951, she was honored by the Fairfax branch of the NAACP with a certificate for her efforts.
In 1962, Livingston returned to NARA to work on oral histories from the Johnson administration and to organize other presidential libraries. Later, she worked on authenticating the claims of Japanese internees after they were awarded reparations by the federal government in 1988.
As a founding member of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill in Alexandria, Livingston served as a Sunday-school superintendent and teacher for many years.
Livingston died on March 23, 2007 at Goodwin House in Alexandria. She was 92 and had Alzheimer's disease.
This collection documents Livingston's work advocating for the desegregation of schools in Alexandria, VA and Northern Virginia, mostly from the 1950s and early 1960s. Materials in the collection include newsclippings, correspondence, notes, and programs.
The collection consists of two boxes with 18 folders that generally fall into four categories: Fairfax County NAACP, Desegregation Decisions and Plans, School Affairs Committee and Parent-Teacher Association, and Virginia Council of United Church Women.
This collection is currently arranged in one series of two boxes. Folders generally fall into four subject categories that were originally created by Mary Walton Livingston. Papers within these categories are arranged by date.
There are no access restrictions.
There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Mary Walton Livingston papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
The Special Collections Research Center also holds other material related to race during the time period of desegregation in Virginia. These collections include the Reston Black Focus records and the Roger Wilkins papers.
Livingston, Mary Walton, 1914-2007
Desegregation in education
Mary Walton Livingston papers, C0321, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Donated by Mary Livingston Petersen (Mary Walton Livingston's daughter) on April 2, 2019.
Processing completed by Jared Nistler in July 2019. EAD markup completed by Jared Nistler in August 2019.https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?081+ful+HJ597ER+pdf