Digital Archives Gives Access to African American History - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Digital Archives Gives Access to African American History

Email


by Associated Press


MINNEAPOLIS — A University of Minnesota-led digital archive of African American historical materials is now free and accessible online to the public.

The university’s Umbra search includes handwritten 17th-century letters, underground hip hop albums from the 1970s and a whole of other artifacts, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Cecily Marcus, curator of the Archie Givens, Sr., Collection of African American Literature at Anderson Library, said the site was created as a central repository for researchers, teachers, students, artists and faculty to use.

It includes more than 500,000 materials from nearly 1,000 institutions. The project was led by the university, but it’s a national initiative involving several institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University.

Marcus said nearly half of the collection’s materials are from the Digital Public Library of America. She said the site’s singular focus on African American culture and history makes it unique.

Dorothy Berry, who leads the project’s digitization process, said it gives users a well-rounded picture of black culture during a given time period.

“There’s a lot of information you might not be able to get in school,” she said.

Teachers at St. Paul’s Gordon Parks High School are already using the site in classes.

The accessibility the search provides is useful for high school students, since similar materials are usually only available at museums or libraries, said Jamie Tomlin, an English teacher at the school.

“The students are becoming digital historians,” Tomlin said.

Berry said the Umbra project will continue digitizing items.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
New Questions in NSSE Survey Spark Important Conversations A topical module around inclusiveness and engagement with cultural diversity debuted in this year’s NSSE survey, and the results prompted discussions around teaching practices. Every year since 2000, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSS...
Professor Apologizes for Fiery Response to Muslim Student CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati music teacher has apologized for his fiery online responses to a Muslim student who was critical of Donald Trump’s presidency and talked about celebrating freedom and diversity. College-Conservatory of Music...
Colleges Wrestle with Issue of Using Students’ Fees for Controversial Speakers Katherine Kerwin didn’t like to see a portion of the student fees she pays being spent to bring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro to the University of Wisconsin. Kerwin didn’t agree with Shapiro’s criticism of what he said were attempts to chill fr...
Pennsylvania Education Leader Going Extra Mile for Diversity  Long bike rides are an annual tradition for Dr. John Sygielski, who spent several weeks biking from New Orleans to Nashville this summer, traveling along the Natchez Trace Parkway and passing through Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Along the w...
Semantic Tags: