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Julia Harden

Julia Woodhouse Harden was born on July 6, 1909 in Baltimore, Maryland. She was the only child of Mary Locks Woodhouse and John Wesley Woodhouse. She was raised on Pressman Street in Baltimore and attended elementary school at the Division Street School. Some of her classmates included former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, entertainer Cab Calloway and Ann Brown. She graduated from Douglas High School in Baltimore in 1925. After graduation, she attended The Ethical Cultural School, a private school in New York for one year. She was one of two African Americans at the school.

From 1926 to 1930, she attended New York University where she earned a B.A. degree. In 1931, Harden received her M.S. degree in library sciences from Columbia University in New York. Upon graduation from Columbia, she accepted a position as a librarian at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she met her husband Dr. K. Albert Hardin. The couple was married in 1933, and had one child, a daughter, Katherine, five years later.

After her marriage, Harden resigned from her job at Howard University, but later returned to a similar position in 1940. While at Howard University, she worked under the leaderships of presidents Mordicai Johnson and James Nabrit. Her husband later went on to become the dean of Howard’s Medical School.

Harden was a proud grandmother and great-grandmother. She resided in Washington, D.C. and was active in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta and several other civic associations.

Harden passed away on February 11, 2006.

Accession Number

A2004.014

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/4/2004

Last Name

Harden

Maker Category
Middle Name

Woodhouse

Organizations
Schools

Frederick Douglass High School

Ethical Culture Fieldston School

New York University

Columbia University

First Name

Julia

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

HAR05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

6/6/1909

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken Salad

Death Date

2/11/2006

Short Description

University librarian Julia Harden (1909 - 2006 ) attended New York University from 1926 to 1930, and earned her M.S. degree in library sciences from Columbia University in New York. She was a former librarian at Howard University, and worked under university presidents Mordecai Johnson and James Nabrit.

Employment

Howard University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Julia Harden's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Julia Harden lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Julia Harden describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Julia Harden describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Julia Harden talks about her grandparents and older ancestors

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Julia Harden describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Julia Harden narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Julia Harden narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Julia Harden shares memories of her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Julia Harden describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Julia Harden describes her experience at Division Street School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Julia Harden describes her personality during her childhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Julia Harden talks about her religious upbringing in the African Methodist Episcopal church

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Julia Harden talks about her favorite teachers and career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Julia Harden describes her experience at Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Julia Harden describes her closest childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Julia Harden describes her experience at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Julia Harden describes her experience at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Julia Harden describes positive aspects of her experience at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Julia Harden describes her experiences at New York University and Columbia University in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Julia Harden talks about going to work as a librarian at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Julia Harden talks about her early relationship with her husband, K. Albert Harden

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Julia Harden talks about raising her daughter, Katharine Harden

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Julia Harden describes the Carnegie Library at Howard University in Washington, D.C. during the 1930s, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Julia Harden describes the Carnegie Library at Howard University in Washington, D.C. during the 1930s, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Julia Harden recalls the librarians she worked with at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Julia Harden talks about returning to work at Howard University in Washington, D.C. during the 1940s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Julia Harden describes her daughter's experiences in high school and college during the 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Julia Harden talks about her memories of the Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Julia Harden describes student protests at Howard University in Washington, D.C. during the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Julia Harden describes the college presidents she worked for at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Julia Harden talks about her favorite experiences traveling internationally

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Julia Harden describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Julia Harden describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Julia Harden explains why she believes history is important

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Julia Harden narrates her photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Julia Harden narrates her photographs, pt. 4

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$2

DATitle
Julia Harden recalls the librarians she worked with at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Julia Harden talks about her memories of the Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington
Transcript
Did you enjoy Washington, D.C.? How was Washington, D.C., different from New York [New York] and Baltimore [Maryland]?$$Oh, my heavens, well, different from New York; the pace is entirely different, you know. In New York you're going helter-skelter. And you know, you're racing here, there, and everywhere. You're getting on a subway, and getting off, and pushing yourself into the subway doors. Washington, the pace is slow. And at first I had a little trouble getting used to it. But eventually--and, and incidentally, I had been offered a job in the public library, the public library there [in New York, New York] at 135th [Street] and Lenox [Avenue]. The librarian was interested in having someone appointed on the children's library, and she offered me a job. But I told her that my mind was not set on a public library job. And I told her that I was really interested in college library. And incidentally, there at Columbia [University, New York, New York] there were several librarians working on their degrees, and that's how I met, for instance, Dorothy [Burnett] Porter, who became a librarian in the Moorland Foundation [later, the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center] at Howard [University, Washington, D.C.], was working on both her master's--on her bachelor's and master's at the same time, and another person who was working on her bachelor's degree and finished in June [1931] as I did. She just died the other day at 105. She and I are the two lingering librarians. And she stayed at Howard for forty years. Of course, I went back after my husband came to Howard in--$$What was her name?$$--the medical school.$$What was her name?$$John Maurice Thomas, and her picture was in the paper last Wednesday, and her wake was Thursday, and her graveside services were Friday, to which I couldn't get to either one, because her birthday was one week later than mine, July 13th. And there was another librarian who was also born on the 13th, so the three of us used to celebrate. So now, I am the only one left. I can hardly believe it, out of about--how many--I guess of about six or seven or us, you know, so it's real scary.$What was the Civil Rights Movement like for you?$$Well, the Civil Rights Movement, of course, I had always been interested. Coming from Baltimore [Maryland], there was nothing else to do but be interested in the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] and civil rights. Juanita Jackson [Mitchell], Clarence Mitchell's [Clarence M. Mitchell Jr.] wife, and her mother [Lillie May Carroll Jackson] were in the churches talking about civil rights during those years. And all of us were listening. And of course, when [Reverend Dr.] Martin Luther King [Jr.] came that day [March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963] to go down there, all of Washington [D.C.] turned out, most of Howard [University, Washington, D.C.]. I know my husband [K. Albert Harden] went to give his medical services. And it was just a grand--then I had relatives from New York. I had two relatives who were judges there in New York. They came down. And of course it was a grand weekend for us. But as for me, I don't think that I--my husband and I did belong to the ADA, Americans for Democratic Action. Now that was one group that we took quite an interest in. And otherwise, I don't remember anything more impressive than that group that day down there with Martin Luther King.$$Tell me a little bit about that day. Where were you standing, and what were your thoughts?$$Well, I was here, but my husband had gotten up early in the morning to go down there to donate his services. And my cousins, two of them were coming from New York, and they hurried down there. And what I did was stay home, and I suppose I was watching it on television. I must have been. And they came in around five o'clock, and we had a big dinner and sent my relatives off to New York (laughter). But of course Washington was all agog, you know. But I wasn't down there in any of the confusion (laughter). But otherwise, I mean, it was quite a time--