Our partners at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center have recently shared several new collections that have been digitized as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to provide access to archival African American religion collections.
Jessica Leming, Project Archivist at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center highlights several of the resources that were part of fourteen collections represented in the NEH grant project.
She describes several of the collections: “A few of the larger collections include the J. Howard Dell collection (Church of God in Christ [COGIC] church leader and pioneer in mass media ministries), Isaac R. Clark (longtime scholar and professor of homiletics at the Interdenominational Theological Center), and the C. Eric Lincoln lecture series collection (leading scholar on the black church and black religion, as well as being one of the first to author scholarly texts on black Muslims in the United States). These collections hold national significance as they document African American religion across denominations, and religious institutions–many of which were responsible for the founding of private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). These institutions served many purposes, including sites for education, socialization, community and nation building, employment, and expressions of spirituality, integral to many facets of the African American experience.”
Leming recommends viewing the photographs in the Anna E. Hall collection. Anna E. Hall was an African American missionary and deaconess in the Methodist church. She notes: “These photographs really paint a picture of what it would be like to live and work in Liberia in the early 20th century. Also in this collection is a journal from an earlier missionary that documents some challenging living conditions, and what life would have been like for the native people as well as the visiting missionaries.” The items can also be accessed in the AUC’s Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.auctr.edu/hallimg/. She also suggests viewing the Society for the Study of Black Religion collection, which includes discussions from this scholarly society dedicated to the study and production of knowledge about the broad diaspora of Black religion, and feature prominent speakers such as Pauli Murray, Boykin Sanders, and Cornel West. These videos are also available at: http://digitalcommons.auctr.edu/ssbr/.
Leming is pleased with the enthusiastic response to the digitization of the materials from these collections, and their availability to researchers: “Researchers interested in African American religious studies, church history, and African American theology, philosophy, and education have sought these materials. Previous to the AUC Woodruff Library receiving this NEH grant, the audiovisual collection had very limited access due to lack of playback equipment and age of the materials. We are excited that because of the grant, we have been able to digitize almost 1,000 reel-to-reel and video formats, and we are currently working on scanning the over 2,200 photographs that are within these collections…Since we’ve started launching the digital collections via AUC’s Digital Commons, we have seen 1,540 page hits and 1,021 downloads to date. We are excited to be uploading more content every month as we process the materials.”
We hope that you take the time to view these new collections, and spend some time with the digital collections available from the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/Institutions/auu.html.
Third annual AV Archives Night Shines the Spotlight on Southern US
Join AVPreserve for the third annual AV Archives Night, coinciding with the Society of American Archivists annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The event, a night of movies and sound highlighting archival collections from organizations in the southern United States, takes place from 7:30 to midnight on August 3rd at The Sound Table (483 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312) in the Old Fourth Ward.
The main event for the evening is a screening of historic videos and oral histories from eleven (and counting!) institutions from across the US. In addition, throughout the night, Lance and April Ledbetter of Dust to Digital will provide a collection of music spotlighting the sounds of Georgia. And, all-archivist band, Glass Plate Zero, will play a set of “history’s greatest rock and roll.”
Participating institutions include:
- • The Alan Lomax Archive, with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
• Delta Air Lines Archive – Delta Flight Museum
• Florida State University Libraries
• Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
• Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History – University of Kentucky Libraries
• Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound – The New York Public Library
• Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
• South Carolina Political Collections and Moving Image Research Collections,
University of South Carolina Libraries
• Special Collections Research Center – North Carolina State University Libraries
• Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia
Glass Plate Zero is:
- • Hillel Arnold, Rockefeller Archive Center
• Heather Fox, University of Louisville
• Rory Grennan, Florida State University
• Gino Pasi, University of Cincinnati
The night’s venue, The Sound Table, serves small plates and cocktails from 7pm, so consider dining in house before the event.
To top off the evening, AVPreserve’s own Bertram Lyons and Dust to Digital’s Lance Ledbetter will spin some of their favorite records from Memphis and Atlanta respectively at The Sound Table’s bar. See the Facebook Event details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1128264930577623/.
AV Archives Night is sponsored by AVPreserve, with support from the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA),Dust to Digital, and the Digital Library of Georgia. Have a question? Contact Amy Rudersdorf at firstname.lastname@example.org tweet the hashtag #AVArchivesNight.