Black Collections, a new archival repository within the Community-Driven Archives Initiative at ASU Library, focused on creating a robust community collection dedicated to documenting the lived experiences of Black people living and thriving in Arizona.
As part of the award-winning CDA Initiative established in 2017 with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Black Collections seeks to establish and implement programs and services that will engage, educate, and empower Arizona’s Black community to preserve currently silenced narratives and history. Building this infrastructure and relationships with historically marginalized communities takes time and patience, a deep desire and passion to create change, and highly trained students, staff, and professionals.
Why create Black Collections?
“I want Black Collections to be an important collection that the Black community of Phoenix and Arizona are proud of. Everybody deserves to have their stories documented and the ability to see themselves within the archival record. Black Collections is about working with community to preserve Black history and stories in Arizona.”
– Jessica Salow, assistant archivist of Black Collections
J. Eugene Grigsby Jr.
Documents the work and legacy of artist, educator and mentor of generations of young artists, Dr. Jefferson Eugene Grigsby, Jr.
LIFT Initiative elevates Black Collections
Black Collections was created as part of ASU’s LIFT (Listen, Invest, Facilitate, Teach) Initiative. In the fall of 2020, President Crow’s office shared a list of 25 actions to support Black students, faculty and staff. On point 23, the action reads, “ASU has committed to providing funding to sustain the Community-Driven Archives initiative in the ASU Library in order to enhance the historical record of and the university’s and library’s engagement with underrepresented communities.”
You can help CDA and Black Collections recover ASU’s Black history to reflect the scholarship and academic accomplishments of the Black community.
Access the collection
Appointments in the Wurzburger Reading Room at Hayden Library (room 138) on the Tempe campus are available Monday through Friday. Check the ASU Library Hours page for current availability.