- Price, Melva L., 1902-1996
- Call number
- Sc MG 596
- Physical description
- 1 linear foot
- Preferred Citation
- Melva L. Price papers, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.
The collection consists of the papers, 1910-1991, of Melva L. Price, a professional educator, community activist, and performing arts supporter, who lived in Harlem most of her life. The bulk of the collection is comprised of correspondence to and from Price, and includes letters from friends, colleagues and officials of the organizations to which Price belonged. There are also personal diaries, 1922-1936 (scattered); two of Price's grade-school notebooks; autograph books for 1916 and 1920; and souvenir journals from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's Mississippi Health Project (1930s) for which Price did field work, collecting data and giving support to the medical team.
Melva L. Price was raised in New York City and lived there until her death. After graduating from Hunter College in 1924, she went on to become a teacher in the New York City public schools, at the high school level. During her career as a teacher, Price would teach at P.S. 157, James Madison, Wadleigh, Theodore Roosevelt, Morris and New Dorp high schools. Her area of specialty was languages, including Latin. She retired from teaching in 1960 after 36 years of service.
Price had a large circle of friends, among whom were Juliette Derricotte, the George Schuyler family, Winifred (Willis) Speaks, Marian Anderson, and Paul Robeson. It was also common practice for her to maintain correspondence with a number of her former students. She was an active member in many local and national organizations, which included Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Kappa Alpha. Additionally, her social and community activities extended to the labor movement; for many years, Price was a representative for the Teacher's Union and Teachers Retirement Fund. As executive secretary for the Negro People's Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy, Price planned, coordinated and hosted several political awareness and fund raising functions for the group.
Source of acquisitionGift, Elosie Coleman, December 1996
- African American labor union members
- African American women educators -- New York (State) -- New York
- African American women teachers -- New York (State) -- New York
- Education -- New York (State) -- New York
- Teachers -- Correspondence
Using the collection
LocationSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801