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Guide to African-American Research Resources

Compiled by John Straw, June 1994.

Revised November 1996 by John Straw and June 2003 by Ellen Swain and Chris Prom.

This guide is intended as a starting point for finding source materials regarding the history of African-Americans at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. As such, the items it describes are generally not available on-line. They can be used for research in the University Archives. Please contact the archives to arrange to view the materials on site. If you are unable to visit the Archives, several fee-based services are available.

The University Archives is located in the Main Library, Room 19, 1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, Illinois and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Reference inquiries may be made by telephone (217-333-0798), fax (217-333-2868), or via our e-mail form).

photo of william walter smith, first African-American to receive a degree from the University of Illinois, 1900.  From University of Illinois Archives, Alumni File, Record Series 26/4/1.

William Walter Smith, first African-American to receive a degree from the University of Illinois, 1900. From University of Illinois Archives, Alumni File, Record Series 26/4/1.


While there was no mention of African-Americans in the enabling legislation for the establishment of the Illinois Industrial University (now University of Illinois), as Dr. Winton Solberg stated in his history of the University, "in light of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, however, the University would be open to men of all races." (p. 81) Jonathan A. Rogan was the first African-American to enroll, attending for one year, 1887-88. George W. Riley was a special student in Art and Design from 1894 to 1897. The first African-American to graduate was William Walter Smith with an A.B. in Literature and Arts in 1900 and a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1907. In 1906, Maudelle Tanner Brown Bausfield became the first African-American woman graduate. Hilda H. Lawson was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. (English, 1939).

Little is known about John J. Bryd who served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1873 to 1879. The first African-American employee of the University was Mr. L. H. Walden, a maintenance employee for the Drill Hall and Gymnasium. Albert Lee became the second African-American employee of the University in 1895. His first position was as a messenger in the President's office followed by a position as Chief Clerk in that same office. During his tenure, Lee became the "defacto dean of African-American students" for the University, providing them with scholastic, social, and moral guidance and representing their interests to the administration.

There is much research still to be done on the African-American experience in higher education. This guide is intended as a starting point for uncovering sources for historical research on African-Americans at the University of Illinois. Hopefully, it will make the search easier and open new avenues for exploration. The terminology for African-Americans used in the guide (i.e. colored, negro, black, Afro-American, African-American) reflect the term used when the records described were created. Since records are added to the Archives on a regular basis, this guide will always be a work-in-progress like all such publications.

Table of Contents


The following publications contain information on African-American history at Illinois.

  • Ebert, Roger, ed. An Illini Century: One Hundred Years of Campus Life. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1967. (See pages 147-154 for a discussion of civil rights and discrimination as written about in the Daily Illini.)
  • Solberg, Winton U. The University of Illinois, 1867-1894: An Intellectual and Cultural History. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1968.
  • Solberg, Winton U. The University of Illinois, 1894-1904: The Shaping of the University. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000. (A longer, manuscript draft version of this book is available in Box 15 of the Winton Solberg Papers in the University Archives.)
  • Williamson, Joy Ann. Black Power on Campus: The University of Illinois, 1965-75: An Intellectual and Cultural History. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.
  • Cobb-Roberts, Deirdre Lynn. "Race and Higher Education at the University of Illinois, 1945 to 1955." See Dissertation Abstracts Index 1999 59(8): 2889-A. DA9904419
  • Franke, Carrie. "Injustice Sheltered: Race Relations at the University of Illinois and Champaign-Urbana, 1945-1962." See Dissertations Abstract Index 1991 52(3): 817-A. DA9114239.
  • Reed, David Brian. "The History of the Negro Athlete at the University of Illinois (1904-1969)." Urbana, IL: [sn], 1972. MA Thesis. Copy in University Archives Book Collection and Main Stacks Call No. 796.069 R25H
  • Williamson, Joy Ann. "'We Hope for Nothing; We Demand Everything': Black Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1965-1975." See Dissertation Abstracts Index 1999 59 (9): 3379-A. DA9904622
Journal Articles:
  • Cobb, Deirdre. "Segregated Students at the University of Illinois, 1945 to 1955." Journal of the Midwest History of Education Society 1997 24: 46-51.
  • Cobb-Roberts, Deirdre. "Interracial Cooperatives at the University of Illinois, 1940-1960." American Educational History Journal 2002 29: 35-42.
  • Feinberg, Walter and Tyack, David. "Black People, Not Student Personnel: The "Disadvantaged" in Teacher Education." Teachers College Record 1969 71(2): 225-235. (Describes an experimental program in teacher education for black students at the University of Illinois.)
  • Mack, Faite R-P. "Educational Opportunity Program Graduates Compared to Educational Opportunity Program Non-Graduates." Journal of Negro Education 1974 43 (1): 39-46. (Studies 502 freshman who entered the University of Illinois Special Education Opportunities Program in 1968.)
  • Merrick, Jeffries. "Project "500": An Excellent Plan Poorly Executed." FOCUS/Midwest 1969 7(45): 8-13.
  • Spivey, Donald and Jones, Thomas A. "Intercollegiate Athletic Servitude: A Case Study of the Black Illini Student-Athletes, 1931-1967" Social Science Quarterly 1975 55(4): 939-947.
  • Williamson, Joy Ann. "Who is "Black" at the University of Illinois, 1965-1975." Journal of the Midwest History of Education Society 1997 24: 52-56.
  • Williamson, Joy Ann. "Affirmative Action at University of Illinois: The 1968 Special Educational Opportunities Program." Journal of the Midwest History of Education Society 1998 25(1): 49-54.
  • Williamson, Joy Ann. "An Oral History of Black Students at the University of Illinois, 1965-1975." Journal of the Midwest History of Education Society 1998 25 (1): 94-100.

Table of Contents

University History Reference Files

The University Archives maintains reference files on subjects related to the history of the University. These files contain newspaper and magazine clippings, brochures, information sheets, and other documents. Information on African-American subjects can be found under the following headings.

  • Black Athletes
  • Black Fraternities and Sororities
  • Blacks and Minorities
  • Black Faculty
  • Equal Opportunity in Education and Employment (Title IX)
  • Lee, Albert

Table of Contents

Descriptions of Sources

In accordance with archival principles and practices, materials in the University of Illinois Archives are arranged by record group, record subgroup, and record series, reflecting the origin of the records. The citations in this list are intended as starting points. Under each heading, a description of materials concerning African-American topics is given. In most cases, these comprize only a small percentage of the overall material in the record series. For that reason, each heading is linked to the the corresponding series description in our holdings database. Follow the links to the database and finding aids to locate more information, including specific boxes and folders in which items relating to African-American resrouces are held.

Sports Interviews, 1967. Record Series 0/1/808.
Includes a filmed interview with former University of Illinois football player Claude "Buddy" Young concerning football, effects of athletic competition on race relations, and discrimination in Urbana-Champaign.
The Board of Trustees Reports, 1867-. Record Series 1/1/802.
Includes references in the years listed below for the following subjects; consult Board of Trustees Indexes in the back of each volume for pages:
  • 1946-48: Responsibility of the University for housing racial minorities
  • 1952-54: Racial discrimination in Champaign-Urbana barbershops
  • 1960-62: Policies governing student housing and membership in student organizations; Student Affairs Subcommittee on Housing Discrimination recommendations; University of Illinois and Discrimination: Actions and Policies;
  • 1964-66: Non-discriminatory housing policy amendment; Authorization for collecting racial information from staff and students; university policy of non-discrimination in student organization membership; NAACP resolution about alleges discriminatory practices against negro athletes at UI
  • 1968-70: Upward Bound Program; Black Student Association, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Concerned Citizen Committee of Champaign, and Students Against Racism presentation; affirmative action and equal opportunity employment in University construction; additional resources available in support of equal opportunity programs; tuition waiver for disadvantaged student and equal opportunity grants
  • 1970-72: Disadvantaged students
  • 1972-74: Black Studies Program (Chicago Circle); Coalition of Afrikan People presentation
  • 1974-76: Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity; grievance guidelines for complaints of discrimination; employment of minority students
  • 1976-78: Urban League of Champaign County and African Students Organization presentations concerning South African Investments; Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Committee; affirmative action data base; grievance procedures for complaint of discrimination amendment;
  • 1978-80: Report on identification, recruitment, and retention of minority students (Medical Center);Affirmative Action procedures for selection of University president; resolution reaffirming University's nondiscrimination policy in light of Bakke case; Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Committee
  • 1980-82: Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Committee
  • 1982-84: Revision of major in Black Studies (Chicago);
  • Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Committee; revision of University's Affirmative Action plan
  • 1984-86: President Ikenberry's testimony at hearing of Senate Subcommittee on Minority Concerns in Higher Education; minority faculty and student recruitment; Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Committee; policy prohibiting conduct of University business in private clubs having discriminatory policies on membership or attendance; University affirmative action and equal opportunity programs report
  • 1986-88: Campuses' readiness to deal with racial incidents; University's implementation of Illinois Minority and Female Business Act; Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Committee
  • 1988-90: Minority recruitment; Afro-American Studies minor established; affirmative action
  • 1990-92: Minority recruitment; racial incidents; minority student participation in mathematics, science, and engineering; African-American Studies and Research Program; affirmative action.
President John M. Gregory Papers, 1839-98. Record Series 2/1/1.
Includes manuscript of a speech by Gregory on "negro education" (1882).
President Edmund J. James General Correspondence, 1904-19. Record Series 2/5/3.
Includes correspondence and other documents concerning the University of Illinois exhibit at the National Half-Century Anniversary Exposition of Negro Freedom held in Chicago in August 1915.
Albert Lee Papers, 1912-28. Record Series 2/6/21.
Lee's papers as Chief Clerk of the President's Office (1920-42) includes correspondence, programs, notes, and memoranda relating to admission, housing, and placement of black students; and information on Alpha Phi Alpha (1922-28), Kappa Alpha Psi (1922-28), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1923-24), and Lee's involvement with the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
President Arthur H. Daniels General Correspondence, 1933-34. Record Series 2/8/1.
Includes lists of "colored students" (1933-34).
President Arthur C. Willard General Correspondence, 1934-46 Record Series 2/9/1.
Includes "Negro Student at the University of Illinois: An Outline of Their Enrollment, Graduates, Activities, History, and Living Conditions" (1934-45); distribution of National Youth Administration workers by race (1936-37); memoranda concerning closing of Campus Co-op Restaurant and need for "a decent place for Negro students to eat"; list of "colored students who applied for National Your Administration" (1937); "Facts about Kappa Alpha Psi" (1937); list of negro graduate degree recipients (1931-32); list of "colored students" (1931-37); list of negro degree recipients (1938); and "Negro Students: Location, History, and Administration" (1939-40).
Negro Matriculants List, 1887-1937. Record Series 2/9/16.
Includes a card file and lists of black matriculants at the University of Illinois, 1887-1937, compiled by Albert Lee, Chief Clerk in the President's Office for the Alumni Association. Also includes partial lists of honors, awards, and degrees earned by black students (1929-31), lists of black students in fraternities, sororities, and independent houses (1931-37), and memoranda relating to compilation of lists and correspondence with William E.B. Dubois.
President George D. Stoddard General Correspondence, 1946-53. Record Series 2/10/1.
Includes information on discrimination in college admissions (1951-52) and discrimination in Illini Union concerning segregated employee restrooms and lockers.
President David D. Henry General Correspondence, 1955-69. Record Series 2/12/1.
Includes correspondence and information on discrimination.
President John E. Corbally Papers, 1971-79. Record Series 2/13/1.
Includes correspondence and other material concerning Ford Foundation Fellowships for Black Americans .
Committee on Student Affairs Minutes, 1938-72. Record Series 4/2/21.
Includes references to Alpha Phi Alpha .
Housing Review Committee File, 1962-71. Record Series 4/6/17.
Includes Affirmative Action Policy Statements.
Committee on Human Relations and Equal Opportunity File, 1964-85. Record Series 4/6/819.
Includes committee reports and recommendations on "ways and means of realizing the University's goal of equal opportunity in all its undertakings -- teaching, research, service, and their supporting activities."
Provost's Office Subject File, 1932-55. Record Series 5/1/1.
Includes information on racial minorities.
Vice-President for Academic Affairs Correspondence, 1965-74. Record Series 5/1/2.
Includes information on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (1968-74), equal opportunity for blacks (1969-71), and racial-ethnic data (1970-71).
Vice-President for Academic Affairs Subject File, 1965-82. Record Series 5/1/3.
Includes information on Affirmative Action.
Committee on Institutional Cooperation Subject File, 1958-70. Record Series 5/1/15.
Includes information on minority group programs (1968-70).
Minority Student Affairs Office Issuances and Announcements, 1978-83. Record Series 7/1/821.
Includes "Increasing Minority Participation in Graduate Education" (1978-79, 1981), "Graduate Opportunities for Minority Students," "The Minority Student Affairs Office," and Directory of Academic Department Heads and Placement Directors at Colleges and Universities in the U.S. Having Substantial Minority Student Enrollment (1973).
Allerton House Conference Studies, 1957-58. Record Series 10/2/810.
Includes reports regarding Amerian American students.
Archibald W. Anderson Papers, 1928-65. Record Series 10/6/21.
Includes correspondence on "Negro Education Issue" (1960), Negro Education in America Index (1962), and Negro Yearbooks (1951-62). Anderson was author of Education of the Negro in American Democracy (1960).
Law Monitoring Committee Records, 1970. Record Series 14/2/70.
Includes information on an alleged racist murder by Champaign police. Law student and faculty formed the Law Monitoring Committee to advise students of their legal rights, monitor demonstrations, and gather information for later use by arrested students.
AALS Headquarters Subject File, 1940-88 Record Series 14/80/105.
Includes information on minorities in law.
AALS Headquarters Office Committees File, 1951-89. Record Series 14/80/110.
Includes information on minority groups and racial discrimination in law schools.
AALS Educational and Institutional Organization File, 1953-90. Record Series 14/80/810.
Includes information on minority advancement.
Liberal Arts & Sciences Departmental Subject File, 1913-72. Record Series 15/1/1.
Includes references to National League of Urban Conditions Among Negroes fellowships (1916-17), Human Relations and Equal Opportunity Conference (1964-65), Affirmative Action Program (1968), Afro-American Culture Lecture Series (1969-71), and Afro-American Program (1972-76).
Liberal Arts & Sciences President's Office Correspondence, 1921-31, 1946-64, 1966-67. Record Series 15/1/9
Correspondence of Liberal Arts & Sciences deans with University presidents and presidential assistants includes references to negroes (1962-63), negro employment (1963-64), and negro studies workshop (1961-62).
Robert W. Rogers Papers, 1960-68, 1981. Record Series 15/1/21.
Includes references to Special Educational Opportunities Program (1969-71).
William M. Plater Papers, 1968-73. Record Series 15/1/22.
Includes information on Afro-American Lecture Series (1970-77) and James Baldwin talk.
Liberal Arts & Sciences Conference and Committee File, 1945-70. Record Series 15/1/34.
Includes information on affirmative action and equal opportunity (1970-80).
Liberal Arts & Sciences Associate & Assistant Deans Subject File, 1948-81. Record Series 15/1/35
Includes information on affirmative action (1968-70), Culturally Disadvantaged Students Program (1966-68), Afro-American Conference at Western Illinois University (1970), Afro-American Culture Lecture Program (1970-71), Special Educational Opportunities Program (1968-70), and Program 500 (1968-69).
Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean's Office Subject File, 1968-80. Record Series 15/1/36.
Includes information on Afro-American survey (1968-70) and Title IX requirements (1975-77).
William Noyes Papers, 1870-1942. Record Series 15/5/21.
Includes correspondence on civil rights and domestic problems with Committee on Democracy and Intellectual Freedom (1941).
NCTE Racism and Bias Task Force File, 1968-80. Record Series 15/7/750.
Includes correspondence; agendas and minutes of meetings; nominating ballots and invitations for membership; proposed project on selection of culturally balanced tests (1970); official Council position paper on "Criteria for Teaching Materials in Reading and Literature" (1970); questionnaires in response to Council publication Searching for America (1972); agenda for meeting between publishers' representatives and minority groups to discuss hiring and editorial policies; directory of minority publishers (1972-73); annotated bibliography of minority literature (1972); and copies of books, pamphlets, bibliographies, and curriculum guides on literature by or about Afro-Americans (1964-75).
The Green Caldron, 1931-70. Record Series 15/7/812.
Student literary publication containing samples of writing from Freshman Rhetoric classes includes "The University of Illinois and Its Negroes" by Jean Knapp, April 1946.
Thomas A. Krueger Papers, 1957-86. Record Series 15/13/42.
Includes Negro History Bulletin (August-September 1975) and the following student papers: "W.E.B. DuBois: A Philosophy of Race" (by James D. Anderson, 1970); "Farm Tenancy and Peonage Among Blacks in the Upper South, 1877-1900" (by Sandrea T. Bates, 1972); "the Southern Effort to Outlaw the NAACP" (by Kent Hull, 1972); "The New Deal Era and Blacks" (dissertation by John Kirby, 1972); "Black Legislative Politics in Illinois" (dissertation by Lee); "The Black Illini: Voluntary Athletic Servitude at a Major White University, 1931-1971" (by Donald Spivey and Thomas A. Jones, 1972). Krueger (1936-86) was professor of history, 1966-86.
Harry M. Tiebout Papers, 1941-82. Record Series 15/16/21.
Includes correspondence, notes, and other documentation from Tiebout's participation in the Student-Community Interracial Committee (1945-51), Student-Community Human Relations Council (1951-55), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Urbana-Champaign branch, 1955-59, and University chapter, 1955-56, 1958-62), and other civil rights organizations regarding discrimination in advertising, barbershops, employment, fraternities and sororities, housing, Illini Union, McKinley Hospital, recreational facilities, student organizations, restaurants, and theaters. Tiebout (1921-83) was professor of philosophy, 1951-83.
Illinois Studies of the Economically Disadvantaged, 1972-73. Record Series 15/19/823.
Includes studies of cultural assimilators for interaction with the economically disadvantaged (1972) and white people (1973) carried out by Harry C. Triandis, principal investigator, under Department of Health, Education, and Welfare grant.
Afro-American Studies and Research Program Subject File, 1980-84. Record Series 15/42/5.
Includes published materials on art exhibits (1982-); bibliographies (1981-82); Black Studies Planning Conference (1981); CIC Summer Institute on Social Change (1981); Black Studies Program clippings (1981-82); course offerings (1977-); films (1980-83); grant applications (1980-81); lectures (1971, 1977, 1980, 1982-83), NIMH report on Center for Minority Group Mental Health Programs (1981); conferences and publications of the Illinois Council for Black Studies (1980-82) and the National Council for Black Studies (1982); program brochures (1981), and publications (1981-84).
Afro-American Research Newsletters, 1977-. Record Series 15/42/805.
Includes Afro-Brief (1977), Afro-Notes (1983-), and Afro Scholar Newsletter (1980-), containing reports of programs, conferences, faculty activities, course offerings, and lectures.
Afro Scholars Working Papers, 1980-. Record Series 15/42/810.
Includes faculty writings on literary, historical, and sociological topics relating to black studies.
Urbana-Champaign Black Community Archival Survey, 1984-. Record Series 18/1/57.
A paper, written by Evelyn E. Brown for Library and Information Science 451, describing the problems associated with gathering data on documenting resources of the black community, and includes notes on files held by institutions, organizations, and individuals in the black community of Champaign-Urbana.
Library Research Center Research Reports, 1960- Record Series 18/2/805.
Includes a research report on Urbana-Champaign Black community resources.
Chancellor's Subject File, 1967-80. Record Series 24/1/1.
Includes racial and ethnic data; Human Relations and Equal Opportunity committee material including census of black families in Urbana-Champaign and information on training program, housing, Citizen Committee, and discrimination; black student demands; Black Student Association and Project 500; Afro-American Studies Commission; and Affirmative Action.
Chancellor's Office Committee File, 1960-70. Record Series 24/1/8.
Includes Human Relations and Equal Opportunity Committee material (1965-68).
Ombudsman's Subject File, 1960-80. Record Series 24/1/11.
Includes information on Affirmative Action (1970-77) and the Panel on Race Relations (1970).
Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Subject File, 1966-72. Record Series 24/1/35.
Includes Affirmative Action memoranda about black employment on campus and job training (1968); proposals about lack of black students, black faculty, and black non-academic employment (1967-68); University and community race relations (1967-68); statements about discrimination in hiring (1964-68); Human Relations and Equal Opportunity Committee material (1965-69) including correspondence and reports on University attempts to increase minority employment; Employment Committee (1967-68); and Committee on Racial Justice (1968).
Affirmative Action Issues, 1968- . Record Series 24/9/803.
Issuances of the Office of Academic and Nonacademic Affirmative Action and the Chancellor's Affirmative Action Office, including a memo to deans, directors, and department heads (May 1968), a census of black families in Champaign Urbana (December 1968), a talk by James Ransom (December 1970), and an academic affirmative action brochure (1976).
Admissions and Records Administrative Correspondence, 1956-74. Record Series 25/1/1.
Includes information on disadvantaged students (1964) and the Special Educational Opportunities Program (1969-70)
Special Educational Opportunities File, 1968-70. Record Series 25/2/17.
Special Educational Opportunities Program (SEOP) files of Robert Corcoran, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admissions, including correspondence with Charles Warwick, Clarence Shelley, Robert L. Johnson, Joseph Smith, Margaret Ismaila, and others; student lists; forms; notifications; and procedures. SEOP identified, admitted, and provided academic and financial assistance to disadvantaged student who had "reasonable chance of success."
Enrollment Tables, 1933-. Record Series 25/3/810.
Includes distribution of students by self-reported racial/ethnic categories (Second Semester 1976-). "Trends in Admissions and Enrollments" (1972, 1973) includes comparison of minority group students by campus and minority group (1967, 1970, 1971, 1972).
Special Educational Opportunities Program Brochure, 1970. Record Series 25/7/817.
Includes information on admissions, financial aid, academic life, and social life.
Illinois Alumni News, 1922-91. Record Series 26/2/801.
Includes articles on Afro-American Culture (1969), Black Culture Center (1969), Black students (1971), Black Students Association (1969), and Black student enrollment (1970). Indexed for 1922-73.
Alumni Morgue, 1882-. Record Series 26/4/1.
Includes obituary, clippings, biographical information, Alumni Association records, and other information on deceased black alumni and faculty. Folders arranged alphabetically by name.
Alumni File, 1920-. Record Series 26/4/2.
Includes Alumni Association records, biographical information, clippings, and other information on living black alumni and faculty. Folders arranged alphabetically by name.
Alumni News Clippings, 1957-. Record Series 26/4/4.
Includes newspaper clippings on black alumni and faculty. Folders arranged alphabetically by name.
Stewart S. Howe Collection, 1923-. Record Series 26/20/30.
Includes information on black fraternities and sororities.
Edwin B. Peebles Papers, 1854-1976. Record Series 35/2/50.
Includes a diary of the Peebles family in Mooresville, Alabama (1954-57, 1864-65) relating to plantations, slavery, and the Civil War.
Irene M. Gaines Papers, 1913-70. Record Series 35/2/52.
Papers of Irene M. Gaines (1896-1964) and Harris B. Gaines (1890-1964) includes correspondence, publications (1938-73), programs (1928-31, 1951-72), photographs (1938-70), and organizational records relating to social welfare, civil rights, and black history. Organizations include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1933, 1938, 1949-70), National Association of Colored Women (1933, 1939-60), Chicago Urban League (1940-70), American Negro Emancipation Centennial Authority (1960-62) and others.
Descriptive Inventory of Resources, 1965-67. Record Series 35/3/18.
Includes "Census of Black Families in Champaign-Urbana" (a study for the Office of the Chancellor prepared by Matilda Frankel, Survey Research Laboratory, 1968); "The University of Illinois and the Drive for Negro Equality, 1945-1951" (a course paper for History 461 by Cathie Huntoon, 1966); and "Poverty in Champaign County: A Case Study of a Minority Group" by Richard A. Schwarzlose, Office of Community Development (1965).
Archives Alumni Oral History Project Files, 2000- . Record Series 35/3/49.
Includes oral history interview tapes and transcripts conducted by archives staff with University of Illinois alumni who graduated in 1927-1939. Each interview includes discussion of diversity of the student body and discrimination issues. Interviews with African American students, Erma Scott Bridgewater '37 and Albert C. Spurlock BS '38, MS '39 are included
Black Alumni and Ex-Students Project File, 1967-73. Record Series 35/3/50.
Includes data sheets for black students showing name, birthdate, deathdate, birthplace, dates of attendance at the University, student activities, degrees received, marriage date and location, names of spouse and children, employment and residence record including dates, location and position, honors, awards and recognitions and the source where the information was found. The data was compiled by the University Archive staff with financial assistance from the Afro-American Cultural Center.
Physical Plant Director's Office Subject File, 1913-76. Record Series 37/1/1.
Includes information and documentation on Affirmative Action policies and compliances in employment and apprenticeships (1970-75) and correspondence and other documentation concerning discrimination policies and compliance with the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity for Construction (1970-73).
Campus Unrest File, 1968-72. Record Series 37/4/9.
Includes clippings from the Daily Illini and other publications relating to racism, demonstrations, boycotts, rallies, and strikes.
Housing Historical File, 1939-80. Record Series 37/6/10.
Includes information on non-discrimination practices in housing (1964-68).
Public Affairs Director's Office Subject File, 1919-84. Record Series 39/1/1.
Includes information on Affirmative Action (1969-70) and Afro-American Studies and Culture (1969-70, 1976).
University Press Releases, 1935- . Record Series 39/1/10.
Includes press releases on Afro-American and minority topics. A subject index to the press releases is available in the Archives. Examples of subject headings include: Affirmative Action; African-Americans; African Students Organization; Afro-American Academic Programs; Afro-American Cultural Program; Afro-American Cultural Program Center and Lecture Series; Afro-American Culture Programs; Afro-American Life and History; Afro-American Studies; Afro-American Studies Commission; Afro-American Studies and Research Program; Black Alumni; Black Alumni Association; Black American Writers; Black Chorus; Black Colleges and Universities; Black Concerns in Higher Education; Black Culture; Black Doctoral Recipients; Black Engineering Student Association; Black Engineering Students; Black Families; Black Greek Council; Black History; Black History Month; Black Mom's Day; Black Student Union; Black Students; Black Studies; Black Writer's Workshop; Civil Rights; Coalition of African People; Disadvantages People; Educational Opportunities for Minorities; Educational Opportunities Program; Employment, Minority; Equal Opportunity; Minority Education Program; Minority Engineering Program; Minority Faculty Seminar; Minority Introduction to Engineering; Minority Pre-Law Conference; Minority Programs; Minority Student Affairs; Minority Student Awards; Minority Students; Minority Students in Research; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Racial Discrimination.
Photographic File, 1868- . Record Series 39/2/20.
Includes photographs of Afro-American students and Afro-American student organizations.
Dean of Students Correspondence File, 1943-66. Record Series 41/1/1.
Includes information on interracial relations (1946-47), discrimination by barbershops (1953-54), M.I.T. National Conference on Selectivity and Discrimination (1954-55), discrimination in rooming houses (1955-56), and discrimination (1961-62).
Fred H. Turner Papers, 1918-75. Record Series 41/1/20.
Includes student organizations discrimination letters (1965) and correspondence with W. Thomas Morgan about the Watts riots (1966-67). Turner was Assistant Dean (1922-31), Dean of Men (1931-43), and Dean of Students (1943-66).
IRAC Bulletin Editor's File, 1953-67. Record Series 41/1/41.
Includes information on fraternity and sorority discrimination practices.
Dean of Men Correspondence, 1912-70. Record Series 41/2/1.
Includes information about "colored students" (1914-17), Affirmative Action (1973-80), Educational Opportunity Programs (1973-80), and minority students (1973-80).
David Eisenman Papers, 1965-74. Record Series 41/2/25.
Includes meeting notes, correspondence, newspaper clippings, organizational broadsides of the Black Student Association and the Citizens for Racial Justice, and audio recordings, relating to the Special Educational Opportunities Program (SEOP-Project 500) and especially the September 9-10, 1968 disturbances at the Illini Union, assessments of how the crisis unfolded, how students were being handled by the disciplinary system, university-community relations and how the incident was covered in newspapers, especially the "Chicago Tribune," as well as the academic and magazine analyses of SEOP and the incident.
Panhellenic Files, 1927-70. Record Series 41/2/63.
Includes information concerning discrimination and sororities (1949-61, 1968-69).
Panhellenic Organizations File, 1942-69. Record Series 41/62/82.
Includes membership forms and other information on Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta.
Student Organizations & Activities Assistant Dean's Correspondence, 1919-66. Record Series 41/2/5.
Includes information about Kappa Alpha Psi (1921-22), Afro-American Culture Program (1976), Afro-American Cultural Center (1977-81), and the Black Greek-Letter Association (1976-81).
Men's Independent Association Subject File, 1964-77. Record Series 41/2/11.
Includes references to problems of black students and research on housing, age, home, and marital status of black students at Illinois (1965-67).
Educational Opportunities Program File, 1964-77. Record Series 41/2/14.
Includes correspondence, memoranda, communiques, and reports of the Special Educational Opportunity Program (SEOP) that was established to deal with problems of minority students, including housing, social, financial, and educational problems. SEOP involved the cooperation of other departments through tuition grants and organizing special classes for minority students. It also included activities organized by minority students, conferences, meetings, and seminars conducted at the local and national levels.
Fraternity Affairs Subject File, 1956-59, 1962-74. Record Series 41/2/76.
Includes information on Kappa Alpha Psi fire (1971), Black Greek-Letter Association (1971), discrimination in fraternities (1968), discrimination check-lists, and Omega Psi Phi (1948-57).
Daniel J. Perrino Papers, 1966-77. Record Series 41/2/22.
Includes Afro-American Culture Program Annual Report (1975-76). Perrino was Dean of Student Programs and Services (1968-76).
Dean of Students Subject File, 1963-79. Record Series 41/2/30.
Includes information on black students and the Afro-American Cultural Center.
Dean of Students Administrative Subject File, 1943-88. Record Series 41/2/31.
Includes information on minority issues.
Upward Bound Project File, 1966-77. Record Series 41/2/34.
Includes correspondence and reports relating to the preparation of disadvantaged secondary school students for college work; Bridge students summer courses programs (1970-74); budgets (1969-76); counseling materials (1970); project director's meetings (1970-72); field trips and visits to universities (1969-74); grant proposals (1965-68, 1970, 1974); parents clubs and advisory boards (1969-75); staff prospects and files (1968-77); student rosters and directories (1966-77); tests; TRIP program (1972-77); Champaign, Urbana, and Danville high schools (1969-77); volunteer support (1970-71); and U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare support (1971-73).
Student Organization Constitutions and Registration Cards, 1909-81. Record Series 41/2/41.
Includes Office of Registered Student Organizations registration forms and some constitutions for black student organizations.
SORF Fund Requests and Ledgers, 1978-83. Record Series 41/2/42.
Includes Student Organization Registration Fee fund applications and allocations for black student organizations.
Clyde S. Johnson Fraternity Collection, 1931-70. Record Series 41/2/50.
Includes information on fraternity autonomy and racial discrimination, and correspondence with Kappa Alpha Psi.
Wilson Heller Papers, 1937-83. Record Series 41/2/52.
Includes newspaper clippings and other information on black fraternities and sororities (1978-83).
Educational Opportunities Program Publications, 1975- . Record Series 41/2/804.
Includes a newsletter containing information on courses and careers for minority students.
Dean of Women Subject File, 1909-75. Record Series 41/3/1.
Includes information on black students, Delta Sigma Theta, discrimination, and Sigma Gamma Rho.
Student Organizations Publications, 1871- . Record Series 41/6/840.
Includes printed documents, promotional brochures, bulletin board announcements, and related issuances on black student organizations.
Career Development and Placement Office Brochures and General Announcements, 1932-87. Record Series 41/8/801.
Includes career planning and development aids for minority students (1978).
Daily Illini Student Newspaper, 1874- . Record Series 41/8/801.
Includes campus and national news concerning issues and events relative to Afro-American student life.
Illio Yearbooks, 1895- . Record Series 41/8/805.
Includes photographs of Afro-American students and Afro-American student organizations.
Afro-American Culture Lecture File, 1968-71. Record Series 41/12/88.
Includes budget material, lecture proposals, newspaper clippings, guest speaker correspondence, publicity posters, and course materials for Afro-American history and culture.
Minority Students Publications, 1990- . Record Series 41/12/801.
Includes a descriptive brochure; Campus Colors, a minority student handbook; and The Spectrum, a student newsletter.
Afro-American Cultural Program Publications, 1969- . Record Series 41/12/818.
Includes program announcements, notices of events, "Griot" newsletter (1982-), and related materials.
Albert C. Spurlock Papers, 1936-45, 1994, 2001. Record Series 41/20/137.
Includes photographs and news articles concerning college friends and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity (1930's), a 1936 track varsity letterman's sweater, photographs of campus scenes (1930s), correspondence concerning Spurlock's service in WWII (1942) and a 1994 alumni event program. Mr. Spurlock was one of two African American alumni to participate in the Archives' Alumni Oral History Project (see Record Series 35/3/49).
Student Senate Files, 1948-68. Record Series 41/62/12.
Includes correspondence, minutes, reports, and other material on the Student Senate Subcommittee on Discrimination, which primarily concerns discrimination in student organizations.
41/66/21Champaign-Urbana Coalition Against Aparthied Records, 1964-91. Record Series 41/66/21.
Includes articles, correspondence, newsletters, posters, publications, and reports of American Committee on Africa (1983-89), Divest Now Coalition (1979-86), United Nations Center Against Aparthied (1977-84), and regarding aparthied, anti-aparthied organizations, boycotts, corporate and university divestment, human rights, labor unions, Mozambique, Namibia, and women.
Black Student Association Publications, 1967- . Record Series 41/66/826.
Includes Drums (1967-69), The Black Rap (1969-71), Yombo (1971-74), and Iripodun yearbook, containing feature articles, editorials, poetry, book reviews, photographs, and advertisements about racism, black events, education and employment opportunities, and white society.
YWCA Subject File, 1906-82. Record Series 41/69/331.
Includes information on black women and racism.
National Panhellenic Conference Archives Fraternity Affairs File, 1941-91. Record Series 41/82/9.
Includes information on Alpha Kappa Alpha and Sigma Gamma Rho.
Ernest H. Scott Papers, 1916-20. Record Series 43/1/26.
Includes correspondence, programs, sheet music, and newspaper clippings pertaining to Scott's activities as choir director of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a black congregation. Also includes correspondence with Scott's family members including his sister in St. Louis and orders of household supplies and food. Scott was stenographer (1906-21) for Stephen A. Forbes, State Entomologist and and Chief of Office of the National History Survey.

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Student Organization Records

The following list is representative of African-American student organizations at the University of Illinois. Information about these and other student organizations may be found in the Archives' files of student organization publications (Record Series 41/6/840) and Registered Student Organization forms (Record Series 41/2/41).

  • Afro-American History Club (1976)
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha (1914)
  • Alpha Phi Alpha (1917)
  • Beautiful and Together Sisters (B.A.T.S.)
  • Black Accounting Association (1977)
  • Black Alumni Homecoming Committee (1979)
  • Black Architectural Students Association (1970)
  • Black Artists with Related Talents (1979)
  • Black Business Student Association (1976)
  • Black Chorus (1970)
  • Black Council (1972)
  • Black Engineering Student Association (1972)
  • Black Genesis Social Club (1973)
  • Black Graduate Social Workers (1973)
  • Black Graduate Committee (1970)
  • Black Graduate Student Association (1972)
  • Black Greek-Letter Association
  • Black Law Students Association (1975)
  • Black Pre-Law Club (1970)
  • Black Rage (1972)
  • Black Student Committee/Government (Penn. Ave. Residence) (1973)
  • Black Student Congratulatory Commission
  • Black Student Psychological Association (1978)
  • Black Student Union (1975)
  • Black Students' Association (1967)
  • Black Students for Muhammed (1972)
  • Black Students in the College of Commerce (1971)
  • Black Theatre Student Association (1972)
  • Black Undergraduate Business Students Association (1976)
  • Black Urban Planning Student Association (1973)
  • Cenacle
  • Central Black Student Union
  • Citizens for Racial Justice
  • Coalition Against Aparthied
  • Coalition of African People (1976)
  • Committee for Clear Thinking About Student Activism - Community Interracial Committee
  • Committee to Sponsor Angela Davis (1975)
  • Congress of Racial Equality (CORE; formerly NAACP) (1957)
  • Eusa Nin (1976)
  • Ewezo
  • Hopkins Black Student Organization (1974)
  • Illinois Street Residence - Black Student Union (1974)
  • Interracial
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Mariama
  • Minority Accounting Association
  • Minority Organization for Pre-Health Students (1977)
  • National Association for Advancement of Colored People (1958)
  • Omega Psi Phi
  • Salongo
  • South African Graduate Students
  • Student Committee on Discrimination and Academic Freedom (1953)
  • Students Against Racism
  • United Blacks of Forbes Hall (1974)
  • University Black Women's Committee

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Materials in American Library Association Archives

The University Archives administers the American Library Association Archives, which contains sources concerning African-American topics. The ALA Archives has been arranged in record groups representing the organizational structure of the Association. The record series numbers below are ALA Archives numbers, not University Archives.

Illinois Minorities Manpower Project File, 1972-76. Record Series 9/1/41.
Specially funded project for recruiting minorities into librarianship. Includes correspondence, reports, minutes, and other documents about the administrative board, budget, evaluations, internships, and students at Rosary College.
Affirmative Action Institute Records, 1974-75. Record Series 9/1/42.
The Affirmative Action Institute, funded by HEA II-B funds, provided instruction about concepts of affirmative action to participants from 20 libraries so they could design and write affirmative action plans for their libraries. Includes information on planning, original proposal, budget, evaluation report, participants, participants' affirmative action plans, and final report.
Library Personnel Resources Director of Recruitment Correspondence & Subject File, 1958-79. Record Series 9/2/6.
Includes references to minority recruitment programs (1971-73) and affirmative action (1970-76)
Library Personnel Resources Advisory Committee Minutes, 1975, 1977. Record Series 9/3/1.
Includes reports by the Equal Employment Opportunity Subcommittee, Minority Recruitment Subcommittee, and Illinois Minority Manpower Project.
Library Personnel Resources Equal Employment Opportunity Subcommittee Minutes, 1975. Record Series 9/3/21.
Includes information on equal employment opportunities in librarianship, the Affirmative Action Institute, and the Ethnic and Sexual Composition/Salary Survey.
Library Outreach Services Executive Secretary Subject File, 1964-95. Record Series 10/2/6.
Includes material on the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) Coretta Scott King Award (1976-86), Minority Concerns Committee (1979-90), minority librarians (1986), Minority Librarian Fellowship Project (1986, 1989), SRRT Affirmative Action Resolution (1989-90), and Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission (1990).
Public Relations Office Scrapbooks, 1948-77. Record Series 12/1/18.
Includes newspaper clippings on racial discrimination.
American Libraries Association Bulletin Editor's Correspondence, 1939-58, 1963-73. Record Series 13/5/5.
Includes references to Black Caucus (1970-71).
Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Correspondence & Subject File, 1930-2002. Record Series 22/2/6.
Includes correspondence, applications, and reports relating to Mellon-ACRL Internship Project (1974-81) to develop managerial abilities of librarians in Black colleges and universities.
Mellon-Association of College and Research Libraries Internship Project Files, 1973-78. Record Series 22/2/77.
Files of Casper L. Jordan, who directed project to develop management skills of librarians in Black colleges and universities by providing internships in administration of academic libraries. Includes correspondence, applications, and reports concerning the Advisory Committee, the principal investigator Beverly P. Lynch, interns, host institutions, annual evaluations and orientation workshops held at Atlanta University (1974-77), and four-year evaluation meeting in Chicago (1978). Interns submitted regular reports on activities and evaluation of their work experience.
Library Education Division Subject Files, 1934-78. Record Series 28/2/6.
Includes references to negro students (1943-63) and Committee on Opportunities for Negro Students (1966-68).
Audiovisual Materials, 1954-55, 1970-72. Record Series 30/3/13.
Includes tape of History Section panel discussion of "Black History in Libraries" by Marjorie Bradfield at 89th annual ALA conference in Detroit (July 1, 1970).
Young Adult Library Services Association Subject File, 1953-97. Record Series 32/2/6.
Includes material of Committee on Library Services for Disadvantaged Youth (1963-71).
Social Responsibilities Round Table Action Council Correspondence, 1968-99. Record Series 49/1/5.
Includes material on Task Force on Minority Group Literature (1969), Task Force on Recruitment of Minorities (1969-70), racism (1976-78), Angela Davis (1971-72), Black Caucus (1971-72), racism at Library of Congress (1971), Coretta Scott King Award Task Force (1978-82, 1987-89), and Civil Rights Task Force (1987-91).
Black Caucus Newsletter, 1973-88. Record Series 56/40/10.
Quarterly publication providing news on the American Library Association Black Caucus proceedings and the activities and concerns of African-American librarians.
Elizabeth Morrissett Papers, 1976-89. Record Series 97/1/38.
Includes correspondence with Council on Interracial Books for Children and information on controversy over "Resolution on Racism and Sexism Awareness (1976-77).
Sanford Berman Papers, 1968-2007. Record Series 97/1/40.
Includes correspondence, publications, presentations, and other material on Black Americans for African Libraries (1969), Council on Interracial Books for Children (1969-86), Institute on Race Relations (1972-74), prejudicial Library of Congress subject headings, and African-American librarians. Berman was Social Responsibilities Round Table coordinator (1973-75), Minnesota affiliate member (1991- ), and head cataloger at Hennepin County, Minnesota Library (1973- ).

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Last change May 19, 2007, cjp