The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) is a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions. Its mission is to make broadly accessible its members’ holdings of materials that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago. The University of Chicago serves as the current host institution of the BMRC and is the BMRC’s fiscal agent.
The BMRC was initiated in the spring of 2006 at a meeting of chief executives from fifteen Chicago area institutions. Dr. Danielle Allen, then serving as Dean of the Humanities at the University of Chicago, convened the meeting to discuss forms of collaboration that might support African Americanist studies in the Chicago area. After a year of consortium construction and governance development, the BMRC was launched on July 1, 2006, with the appointment of its first steering committee and the election of its first board of directors. The Consortium believes that web-based research tools provide an excellent opportunity for broadening access to the kinds of materials held in its members’ collections.