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Arnold and Ophelia Daniels Papers

Identifier: 082

Scope and Contents

This collection covers Ophelia Daniels’ involvement in various D.C. civic associations, local D.C. politics, as well as her work as a school counselor in the D.C. public school system, primarily focusing on the 1970s-1980s with some materials spanning from the 1940s to the 1990s. Some other family members’ work in education, such as Ophelia’s husband Arnold Daniels, son Danny Daniels, and father William Cope Jr., are featured as well. The collection also includes photographs, letters, personal memorabilia, guidance counselor records, and publications.


  • Creation: 1920s-1990s

Conditions Governing Access

There are no known restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Ophelia Daniels worked in a variety of education and school counseling positions in Johnson City, Tennessee and Washington, D.C. before retiring and participating in various civic positions, such as the secretary for the Queens Chapel Civic Association. In 1990, she was honored at a D.C. Federation of Civic Associations meeting for her work on behalf of consumers, lobbying for affordable utility rates and improving medical services for the elderly. She sat on the D.C. Mayor’s Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee, served as the state chairman of the Washington, D.C. A.M.I. Threshold branch, and represented the District of Columbia in the Georgetown University Community Health Plan Advisory Council.

Arnold Daniels was born in Tennessee, and attended Tennessee State University where he then taught industrial arts for several years. He worked for the Army as a civilian aeronautics mechanic, then served in the Army in Europe during World War II. After returning from the war, Arnold pursued a master's degree from Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State College, which he received in 1953. In 1958, he moved with his wife to Washington to work at the Sharpe Health School, from which he retired in 1979. He was a Mason and a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity as well as Union Wesley AME Zion Church in Washington. Arnold passed away in 1991 at Washington Hospital Center.


24 Linear feet (42 boxes, 1 photo box, 2 flat boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Series 1: Organizations Sub-Series 1: Queens Chapel Civic Association Sub-Series 2: Natural Gas Public Service Commission Sub-Series 3: American Association of Retired Persons, Inc. Sub-Series 4: Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee Sub-Series 5: National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Sub-Series 6: Advisory Neighborhood Council Sub-Series 7: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Sub-Series 8: Area B Community Mental Health Center Sub-Series 9: Planning and Housing Association Sub-Series 10: Union Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Sub-Series 11: Service Area Committees Sub-Series 12: D.C. Federation of Civic Associations Sub-Series 13: Washington Teacher’s Union Sub-Series 14: American Bridge Association Sub-Series 15: Iona House Sub-Series 16: Swift Memorial Junior College Reunion Association Sub-Series 17: Upper Northeast Coordinating Council Sub-Series 18: Georgetown University Community Health Plan Advisory Council

Series 2: Government and Politics Sub-Series 1: Politicians and Candidates Sub-Series 2: Departments Sub-Series 3: D.C. Offices Sub-Series 4: Organizations Sub-Series 5: Political Materials

Series 3: Personal Records Sub-Series 1: School Counseling and Education Sub-Series 2: Photographs and Scrapbooks Sub-Series 3: Correspondence Sub-Series 4: Calendars, Diaries, and Notebooks Sub-Series 5: Family Papers Sub-Series 6: Organizations and Businesses Sub-Series 7: Printed Materials

Custodial History

Donated to the Library by Ophelia Daniels on January 20, 2000.

Related Materials

Collection 105: Queens Chapel Civic Association Collection dcpl_web0002: Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) of Washington, D.C. Web Archive Collection 027: D.C. Federation of Civic Associations Records Collection 165: District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development

Processing Information

The collection was very loosely processed but mostly unorganized when the Library received it in 2000. The processor took an informal inventory of the items of the collection and determined the collection should be arranged in a way that features Ophelia’s work as an active member in multiple D.C. civic associations, a committee member and representative on multiple boards, as well as a school counselor. After determining and locating the major organizations Ophelia participated in, the processor grouped folders of documents together by theme or project and then arranged the items into new folders. Any material pertaining to the Daniels family, D.C., school counseling, education, and civic associations were prioritized as the collection was developed. As each series evolved, materials were often grouped by topic, theme, or format and then placed in chronological or alphabetical order.

Arnold and Ophelia Daniels Papers082
An inventory of the Arnold and Ophelia Daniels Papers at DC Public Library
Finding aid completed by Rachel Hicks
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001