Deborra A. Richardson was an archivist with the Archives Center of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History from 1990 to 2013. She started at the Center as an archives specialist with the Duke Ellington Collection, 1990–97, and served as the assistant chair for the Archives, 1997–2004. Richardson led the Archives as its chair, 2005–2013, and was appointed curator emerita in 2014. She specializes in African American collections, African American music collections, and manuscript collections.
Richardson earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in music from Howard University.