Preserving a Rich Tapestry of Black History
UMass archivists shine a light on the past
The department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) at the Du Bois Library is home to a rich variety of historical resources connected to Black history. These collections document not only Black lives and experiences, but also connections to other movements, including the disability rights movement. As SCUA states in its collection policy, “Drawing upon the philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois, SCUA collects original materials that document the histories and experiences of social change in America and the organizational, intellectual, and individual ties that unite disparate struggles for social justice, human dignity, and equality.”
Here are just a few of the noteworthy highlights among the dozens of collections that illuminate Black history. Click through the links below to learn about these collections, find digitized items, and discover more about SCUA and its resources. (Plus, find Black History Month programming here.)
History in the Making
As history continues to unfold, SCUA continues to build its collections. For example, Irma McClaurin ’76MFA, ’89MA, ’93PhD, creator of the Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive, was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research to expand the collection.
“By documenting the lives and work of a vibrant community of Black women activists and scholars,” says SCUA’s description of this collection, “we can lay the foundation for more inclusive histories of the future.”