UBalt, Hopkins Community Archives Program Now Underway
September 13, 2021
Contact: Office of Advancement and External Relations
This semester begins the new JHU-UBalt Community Archives Program, a partnership between The University of Baltimore's Special Collections and Archives of the Robert L. Bogomolny Library and the Johns Hopkins University's Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts (BHPLA), which is supported by Inheritance Baltimore: Humanities and Arts Education for Black Liberation.
Funded by a $4.4 million Just Futures grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Inheritance Baltimore (IB) is a reparations program for humanities education and arts-based public engagement in Black Baltimore. It is composed of three Johns Hopkins University units: the Billie Holiday Project for Liberations Arts, the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship, and the Sheridan Libraries Special Collections.
An essential part of Inheritance Baltimore is the JHU-UBalt Community Archives Program. The program is led by Angela Koukoui, outreach and public services coordinator for UBalt's Special Collections and Archives, and director of the Community Archives Program for Inheritance Baltimore. The program supports the preservation and accessibility of historical records documenting the experiences and lives of Black Baltimoreans.
Community archives are frequently staffed by volunteers and non-professional archivists and often struggle to obtain consistent staff or resources. These kinds of archives have existed in Baltimore's Black communities and in others for more than a century.
The JHU-UBalt Community Archives Program aims to support the dedicated efforts of Black community archivists by strengthening the visibility and efficacy of community archives and heritage activities. Two Community Archives Fellows, Deyane Moses and Bria Warren, were selected in August 2021 for the training fellowship that will expose early career professionals of African/Black descent to the fields of cultural heritage, archives, library science, applied social and historical research, historical preservation, and curatorship. Moses and Warren will work at both the UBalt Special Collections and Archives and the BHPLA, and support the home institutions by contributing to archival processing of historical records and exhibit curation. Additionally, the fellows will participate in community archives workshops and outreach events with Black cultural and faith-based institutions in Baltimore City.
(Photo, left to right: Deyane Moses, Angela Koukoui, and Bria Warren.)
At The University of Baltimore, the fellows will contribute to the preservation and access of resources within a significant collection of photographs. A unique and extensive collection of various still image materials, the Robert Breck Chapman Photographs document anti-poverty, cultural arts, and youth education programs in Baltimore City throughout the late 1960s and through 2002 in Baltimore.
"We are excited to have UBalt Special Collections & Archives participate in this partnership by hosting Bria and Deyane at The University of Baltimore," UBalt Library Dean Jeffrey Hutson said. "Our collaboration underscores the importance of the Black experience, knowledge, and leadership in shaping narratives within public history and cultural heritage, as well as transforming the professional cultures of libraries and archives."
UBalt Special Collections and Archives at the RLB Library has welcomed the fellows and looks forward to supporting them throughout the community archives program.