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Ruth S. Wolf papers

 Collection 0245-MDHC

Ruth S. Wolf was a member of the Prince George's County Board of Education from 1968 to 1973, serving as board president during the 1970-1971 school year. The papers document the activities of the Prince George's County Board of Education and the desegregation of the county public schools. The collection consists of clippings, correspondence, court documents, maps, memoranda, minutes, press releases, publications, reports, statements, statistical information, and working papers.


  • 1955-1976
  • Majority of material found within 1968-1973

Use and Access to Collection

There are restricted files in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


5.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Ruth S. Wolf papers span the years 1955 to 1976 with the majority of the material dating between 1968 and 1973. The collection consists of clippings, correspondence, court documents, maps, memoranda, minutes, press releases, publications, reports, statements, statistical information, and working papers.

The materials document the activities of the Prince George's County Board of Education. The majority of the material directly relates to the desegregation of Prince George's County Public Schools.


Ruth Scriven Wolf, nurse and civic leader, was born in New York City on March 22, 1923, to William Henry and Ada Mabel Piers Scriven. After studying at Hunter College in New York City from 1939 to 1942, she received her registered nursing degree from New York University College of Medicine in 1945. Wolf then worked for a brief period as a United States Army Cadet Nurse at Northington General Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In 1946, she returned to New York and attended Syracuse University while working as an operating room supervisor at Syracuse University Hospital from 1946 to 1948. Wolf continued working as a nurse in both New York and Oregon until 1951.

On June 9, 1944, Ruth married Robert E. Wolf, a forest economist. They had four children, Glenn, James, Nancy, and Richard, between 1951 and 1960. In the early 1950s, the Wolf family moved to Cheverly, Maryland. Mrs. Wolf became a member of the League of Women Voters of Prince George's County. She was also a member of the League's Board of Directors from 1955 to 1963 and president from 1960 to 1963. From 1964 to 1968, Wolf was actively involved with the Prince George's County Health Study Council Committee on Hospital and Health Facility Needs, the Health Planning Advisory Committee, the County Community Action Committee, the County Constitution Advisory Commission, and the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA). In 1968, Governor Spiro T. Agnew appointed her to the Prince George's County Board of Education. She remained a member of the school board until May 1973, serving as board president during the 1970-1971 school year.

From 1974 to 1984, she worked as Program Coordinator for Programs and Services for the Aging in College Park, Maryland. In 1985, she co-founded Adult Day Care of Calvert County, a non-profit, non-sectarian corporation committed to "enhancing and maintaining the health, functional independence, and general well-being of elderly and disabled adults in Calvert County through community-based health care, nursing interventions, social and recreational programs, and advocacy and support services."

After her service on the Prince George's County Board of Education Wolf also held volunteer leadership positions with a multitude of health and education committees and organizations including: the Maryland Committee for Education and Religious Liberty (1973-1974); the National Capital Area United Way (1972-1982); the Calvert County United Way (1994-1999); the Southern Maryland Health System Agency (1978-1990); the Calvert Hospice Board of Directors (1985-1993); the Calvert Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees (1986-2002); the Maryland Hospital Association (1991-2002); and the State of Maryland Cancer Treatment Task Force (2001). She was appointed by Governor Harry R. Hughes to serve on the Governor's Council on Education Coordination for Children in State Facilities (1981-1988), and, in 1999, Governor Parris N. Glendening appointed Wolf to the Board of Governors of the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, on which she continues to serve. Wolf is also currently a member of the Calvert County Planning Commission, an appointment she has held since 1995.

She has received numerous awards and honors such as the National Conference of Christians and Jews of the National Capital Region Community Service Award for "Courage and Determination That Justice Should Prevail for All" (1972); the League of Women Voters of Prince George's County award for "Outstanding Contributions for Attainment of Equal Opportunity for All" (1973); the Prince George's County Federation of Teacher's John Dewey Award for "Outstanding Contributions to Education" (1974); the Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals and Supervisors award for "Community Leadership in Education" (1974); and the Maryland Hospice Network award for "Outstanding Hospice Service" (1995). Wolf and her husband currently live in St. Leonard, Maryland.


The collection is organized as one series:

Series 1
Prince George's County Board of Education

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Although accessioning records for this collection are inadequate, it is known that the papers were donated by Ruth S. Wolf to the University of Maryland Libraries, circa 1978.

Related Material

Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries also holds the papers of William Schmidt, Superintendent of the Prince George's County School System from 1951 to 1970. Additional related collections include: the Archives of the League of Women Voters of Prince George's County; the Archives of the Berwyn Heights Elementary PTA; and the Archives of the Prince George's County PTA.

The United States Commission on Civil Rights publication 52, A Long Day's Journey into Light: School Desegregation in Prince George's County is available in the Maryland Room, call number LC214.22 M4U5.

Processing Information

The collection was partially processed in 1985 by an intern in the Archives and Manuscript Department. This individual drafted a guide, created a detailed list of folder contents, removed metal paperclips and staples, reorganized the papers, and rehoused the material in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes. Under this arrangement the collection was housed in six page boxes. When the collection was relocated to offsite storage in the late 1980s, box five of the collection was misplaced and never recovered. Documentation of the previous arrangement is available in the control file.

In 2004, related documents were organized into groupings. When necessary, documents within an individual grouping were further divided by topic, such as in the grouping "Community Response," before being organized by format. General documents, not directly related to an individual grouping, were organized by format and arranged chronologically.

Materials documenting actions by the school board, such as resolutions and statements that were not related to one of the groupings, have been placed in the appropriate "Minutes" folder with the minutes of the meeting at which the action took place. Attachments to correspondence and memoranda were retained in place. Duplicates were discarded.

Guide to the Ruth S. Wolf Papers
Processed by Tammy Hamilton.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742