GLAM Center Featured Collection: Black Librarianship

GLAM Center Featured Collection: Black Librarianship

GLAM Center Featured Collection: Black Librarianship 2535 2560 aucwoodruff

Though Clark Atlanta University’s School of Library and Information Studies closed its doors in 2005, the Archives Research Center (ARC) at the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library houses several collections showcasing the contributions to the field of librarianship made by faculty and staff at the AUC as well as prominent black librarians outside the AUC. The first director of the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library (and namesake of the library’s Exhibitions Hall), Virginia Lacy Jones was the second African American to earn a doctorate in Library Science from the University of Chicago. Working alongside Jones at Atlanta University’s School of Library and Information Service was Hallie B. Brooks who taught at AU for 47 years.

6b54768db2d82d4a30199229f001df4a

AU brochure, circa 1965

In addition to Jones’s and Brooks’s papers, the ARC also houses the records of the Atlanta University School of Library and Information Service, which opened its doors in 1941 after the Hampton Institute’s library school (the only library school for African Americans at that time) closed. AU’s library school later became known as the Atlanta University School of Library and Information Studies and then the Clark Atlanta University School of Library and Information Studies after Atlanta University merged with Clark College in 1989.

auc.115.0032

AUSLIS Students and Faculty in Class, circa 1955

Other trailblazing black librarians are featured prominently throughout ARC collections. Portraits of Dorothy Porter, who decolonized library cataloging and built Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center into a world-class research institution, are found in the Countee Cullen-Harold Jackman Memorial Collection. Also found among the Cullen-Jackman collection are papers pertaining to Sadie Peterson Delaney, a pioneer in bibliotherapy who served as chief librarian of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Tuskeegee, AL for 34 years, and Arna Wendell Bontemps, head librarian at Fisk University and noted Harlem Renaissance figure. ARC collections also feature materials from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association as well as the library honor society, Beta Phi Mu.

auc.034.0004

Dorothy Porter, May 1951, photograph by Carl Van Vechten

Check out the GLAM Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning’s digital portal to see our featured collection on black librarianship, and stay tuned for our collaborative exhibit with the AUC Woodruff Library’s Archives Research Center on Clark Atlanta University’s School of Library and Information Studies this spring!

Search the GLAM site:
Use any terms to search the GLAM portal, exhibits, and collections. For a date range search, use the format "DATE - DATE".