The Bronx African American History Project (BAAHP) Receives Grant to Conduct Archival Survey
The Bronx County Historical Society received a grant from the Metropolitan New York Library Council under the Documentary Heritage Program of the NYS Archives to document the records of African Americans in The Bronx.
This archival survey will identify all types of records of organizations and individuals that will help people to tell the story of blacks in The Bronx. These include:
- paper records (such as correspondence files, manuscript collections, baptismal records, church brochures, etc.),
- original music scores
- taped interviews
- as well as other types of records that detail the history of people of African descent in the Bronx.
These primary sources of information about the life of the community from earliest settlement through recent times will establish the true breadth and depth of African American life in the Bronx.
This effort will be directed by Dr.Peter Derrick, Archivist at The Bronx County Historical Society, and Dr. Brian Purnell, Research Director of the BAAHP. Two people have been hired to work on the survey, Project Archivist Megan Hibbitts and Assistant Project Archivist Morgan Powell. They will be working at offices of The Bronx Historical Society.
We would like you to help us identify where the records of African Americans in The Bronx are located. These could be at community organizations, civic groups, churches, businesses, cultural groups, political organizations, etc,. or held by individuals.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Can supporters of the BAAHP please:
The staff of the archival survey will contact the relevant organizations and individuals to collect information regarding what type of records they have, what the records are about, how large the collections are, whether they are accessible and who the public should contact to use the records.
- let us know which groups and individuals should be contacted and provide us with information as to how to reach them (such as mailing,address,
phone number, e-mail address)
- provide us with the names and contact information of other individuals who might provide further information
The survey does not seek to acquire these collections, rather, its intent is to document where they are so that they might be used by persons interested in finding out more about the African Americans in The Bronx.
In this regard, the survey will build on the work of Community Researchers and friends like yourself to correct the virtual vacuum of scholarship about our communities, including Caribbean Americans and recent continental African immigrants.
WHAT IS AN ARCHIVAL SURVEY?
This survey will feature brief descriptions about these private and public collections, placing the actual substance of the Bronx African American experience (i.e., music, religion, politics, recreation, commerce and more) on the record. These materials will then become available within the parameters set by the collection holder to the general public including students, Bronx organizations, communications professionals and scholars. Recently, collections held by the BAAHP, housed at the Bronx County Historical Society, were used by students in Coop City and the South Bronx, among others.
Please contact our Project Archivists to help:
Dr. Peter Derrick, Bronx County Historical Society Archivist and Project Director of the Bronx African American History Archival Survey Project
Megan Hibbitts, Project Archivist, assists in community outreach to identify organizations and individuals and determines which records are most related to the BAAHP. Megan received her Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from Long Island University with additional certification in archives and records management. Prior to working at the Bronx County Historical Society, she served as a project archivist at Columbia University and the Brooklyn Museum.