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Ella B. Howard Pearis Oral History Interview, 1986

Interviewee:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Subject:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing  Search this
Anacostia Historical Society  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Anacostia Museum  Search this
Interviewer:
Lovett, Sabine K  Search this
Physical description:
1 audiotape (Reference copy). 2 digital .wmv files and .rm files (Reference copies)
Type:
Audiotapes
Collection descriptions
Transcripts
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
1986
Topic:
African Americans  Search this
Interviews  Search this
Oral history  Search this
African Americans--History  Search this
Local number:
SIA RU009540
Restrictions & Rights:
(1) Restricted. The recording (not the transcript) of the Ella B. Howard Pearis interviews may not be used, cited, quoted, or reproduced without the permission of the interviewee, heirs, or assigns
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_217708

Ella B. Howard Pearis papers

Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Names:
American Red Cross  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Extent:
2.32 Linear feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Clippings
Papers
Correspondence
Photographic prints
Scrapbooks
Place:
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Date:
1923-1998
bulk 1970-1981
Summary:
The collection, which dates from 1923 to 1998 and measures 2.32 linear feet, documents the career of community activist, Ella B. Howard Pearis The papers are comprised of correspondence with and documents from community organizations, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, scrapbooks, and photographs.
Scope and Contents note:
This collection documents the activities of Ella B. Howard Pearis between 1923 and 1998. It contains materials related to Mrs. Pearis's work with local and national civic organizations. Included in the collection are awards, correspondence, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, photographs, and scrapbooks.

The papers are organized into five series. The content of each series is arranged alphabetically. The series are arranged as follows:

Series I: Biographical Series II: Civic Organizations Series III: Photographs Series IV: Scrapbooks Series V: Miscellaneous
Arrangement note:
The papers are organized into five series. The content of each series is arranged alphabetically. The series are arranged as follows:

Series I: Biographical Series II: Civic Organizations Series III: Photographs Series IV: Scrapbooks Series V: Miscellaneous
Biographical/Historical note:
Ella B. Howard Pearis was born in 1905 in Washington, DC. She graduated from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High in 1923 and then went on to attend Miner Teachers College. For fifteen years she taught 1st and 2nd grade in Maryland and Virginia and later she worked fifteen years at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, from where she retired in 1956.

Mrs. Howard had deep roots in the Anacostia community; her great-grand parents moved to Anacostia in 1863. Macedonia Baptist Church was founded by her great-grandfather in 1866, and her great-grandfather's niece was one of the founders of St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1867. Mrs. Pearis's house on Elvans Road was built by her grandfather in 1876. As a result of this history, Mrs. Pearis felt that it was her duty to be an advocate for and promoter of the Anacostia community. She volunteered her time to work with community groups and neighborhood civic associations. Her community work brought changes to Anacostia including getting new schools established and getting more public transportation in the area.

In 1974 she and other community activists founded the Anacostia Historical Society. The Society was established in partnership with the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum's Center for Anacostia Studies. Mrs. Pearis said that the idea for the Society started when, "…a group of us started to get together one Saturday and bring any family heirlooms that you had. " From there the group began to work with the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum. Together they developed the exhibit, "Anacostia Story," which opened at the Museum in March 1977.

In addition to her work with the Anacostia Historical Society, Mrs. Pearis served on the advisory board of the Anacostia--ongress Heights Red Cross Service Center. This center was a part of the District of Columbia Chapter of the American Red Cross. Later in her life, Mrs. Pearis remarked that physical limitations limited her ability to make it to all of the community functions. Yet she found others ways to contribute to her community.

Mrs. Ella B. Howard Pearis died on February 23, 1998 and her funeral service was held at St. John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church --the church founded by her family in 1867.
Related Arcihval Materials note:
Finding Aid to the Anacostia Historical Society located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.

Finding Aid to the Alice Bell Finlayson Papers located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.

Finding Aid to the Charles Qualls Papers located in Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
District of Columbia Art Association  Search this
D.C. Community Humanities Council  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Clippings
Papers
Correspondence
Photographic prints
Scrapbooks
Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-012
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-acma-06-012
Online Media:

Scrapbooks

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Extent:
0.27 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1923 - 1981
Scope and Contents:
This series contains one autograph book and two scrapbooks which trace Joe Louis's entire boxing career. The scrapbooks are in fragile condition.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-012, Series 4
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref33

Dunbar High School

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1923
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref37

Joe Louis

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Container:
Box 3, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1935 - 1981
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref38

Civic Organizations

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Extent:
1.56 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960-1992; undated
Scope and Contents:
This series contains materials related to Mrs. Pearis's involvement with various local and national civic organizations. The documents consist of correspondence, event calendars and programs, notes, and printed materials. Included in this series are documents that trace the history of the Anacostia--ongress Heights Red Cross Service Center (RCSC).
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-012, Series 2
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref16

Photographs

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Extent:
0.01 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1979; undated
Scope and Contents:
This series contains a black and white portrait of a female subject and a contact sheet. The contact sheet contains pictures from a 1979 gathering.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-012, Series 3
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref31

Miscellaneous

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1956-1995
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-012, Series 5
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref39

Biographical

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Extent:
0.21 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960-1998; undated
Scope and Contents:
This series contains materials related to Mrs. Pearis's family history, commendations, and her involvement in religious and benevolent organizations. Of particular interest is Mrs. Pearis's account of her family's history, which she traces back to 1863.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-012, Series 1
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref9

Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview

Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee  Search this
Extent:
(Reference copies).
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Date:
1986
Introduction:
The Smithsonian Institution Archives began its Oral History Program in 1973. The purpose of the program is to supplement the written documentation of the Archives' record and manuscript collections with an Oral History Collection, focusing on the history of the Institution, research by its scholars, and contributions of its staff. Program staff conduct interviews with current and retired Smithsonian staff and others who have made significant contributions to the Institution. There are also interviews conducted by researchers or students on topics related to the history of the Smithsonian or the holdings of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Pearis was interviewed for the Oral History Collection because of her affiliation with the Anacostia Historical Society and Anacostia Neighborhood Museum.
Descriptive Entry:
Pearis was interviewed in 1986 by Sabine K. Lovett of the University of Maryland as part of a class project. This interview covers her childhood, education, and career in Washington, D.C., and her work with the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum and Anacostia Historical Society.
Historical Note:
Ella B. Howard Pearis is a fourth generation resident of Anacostia in Washington, D. C. She comes from a family of community activists, and, through her own involvement in organizations such as the Southeast Service Center of the American Red Cross, has carried on that tradition. Pearis is a founding member of the Anacostia Historical Society, a group which has worked closely with the Smithsonian's Neighborhood Museum.

Begun as the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum in 1967, an experimental bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, ANM was the first community-based institution founded under the aegis of a major institution and became the prototype for other small neighborhood museums. It was developed as part of a broader plan to encourage museum access to a diverse cultural and socioeconomic group of museum goers. As a community-based museum, ANM sought to address issues of importance to its local constituency, as reflected in early exhibits. With the expansion of its mission, the museum's research and exhibits programs came to reflect its commitment to African American history and culture. In 2006, it was renamed the Anacostia Community Museum to reflect its role as a model community museum.
Restrictions:
(1) Restricted; (2) see finding aid for details on restrictions; (3) use of this record unit requires prior arrangement with the Archives staff.
Topic:
History  Search this
African American history  Search this
African Americans -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Audiotapes
Oral history
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9540, Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee, Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
Identifier:
Record Unit 9540
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru9540

Box 1

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
(1) Restricted; (2) see finding aid for details on restrictions; (3) use of this record unit requires prior arrangement with the Archives staff.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9540, Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee, Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9540-refd1e147

Untitled

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Summary:
Transcript of Interview
Collection Restrictions:
(1) Restricted; (2) see finding aid for details on restrictions; (3) use of this record unit requires prior arrangement with the Archives staff.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9540, Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee, Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9540-refd1e151

Interview 1: 4 December 1986

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
(1) Restricted; (2) see finding aid for details on restrictions; (3) use of this record unit requires prior arrangement with the Archives staff.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9540, Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee, Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9540-refd1e155

Untitled

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Summary:
Audio Recording of Interview
Collection Restrictions:
(1) Restricted; (2) see finding aid for details on restrictions; (3) use of this record unit requires prior arrangement with the Archives staff.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9540, Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee, Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9540-refd1e209

Interview 1: 4 December 1986

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
(1) Restricted; (2) see finding aid for details on restrictions; (3) use of this record unit requires prior arrangement with the Archives staff.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 9540, Pearis, Ella B. Howard. interviewee, Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis Interview
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru9540-refd1e213

Autobiographical

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1976; 1998; undated
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref11

Awards

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1984; 1985; 1990
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref12

Correspondence-- Personal

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1960-1981
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref13

Saint John's Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1973 - 1986
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref14

Thrift Chapter No. 12 Order of the Eastern Star Prince Hall Affiliation [2 folders]

Collection Creator:
Pearis, Ella B. Howard  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 5-6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1960; 1972–1978
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
The Ella B. Howard Pearis papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ella B. Howard Pearis papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-012-ref15

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