“Revealing Her Story: Documenting African American Women Intellectuals” is a two-year project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to arrange and describe the personal papers of nine African American women writers, artists and musicians. Collections included in the project are the Pearl Cleage papers; additions to the Delilah Jackson papers; the Samella S. Lewis papers; the Almena Lomax papers; the May Miller papers; the Undine Smith Moore papers; the Geneva Southall papers; the Mildred Thompson papers; and the Sarah E. Wright papers. To read the press release announcing the project, click here.
My name is Amber and I am the Project Archivist on the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant fund project, “Revealing Her Story: Documenting African American Women Intellectuals.” This is the perfect job for me because I have a passion for African American history and I truly enjoy processing manuscript collections. The Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL) holds a special place in my heart because I was bitten by the “archives bug” in the MARBL Reading Room over 10 years ago.
While an African American history major at Spelman College, I often visited MARBL with my friends on Saturday mornings. While searching for a copy of Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery, I was directed to a signed copy of it in the Reading Room. I couldn’t believe that I was actually holding the same book that Washington signed so many years earlier. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to be an archivist.
Archivists hold history in our hands. We are responsible for arranging, describing, and preserving the records of individuals, groups and institutions. I think the most appealing aspects of the profession are safeguarding and providing access to history. As the NHPRC Project Archivist, my team and I are processing the collections of nine dynamic African American women artists, composers and writers. This is such a rewarding project because we are ensuring that the voices of African American women intellectuals will be heard by future generations.
Check back for updates about the processing of the papers and interesting finds in the collections!