The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) is a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions.

The BMRC’s mission is to connect all who seek to document, share, understand and preserve Black experiences. 

It is the vision of BMRC to be essential to promoting discovery, preservation, and use of Black historical collections.

Through consortial programs, the BMRC aids in expanding broad access to 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 BMRC is located at the University of Chicago Joseph Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th St., Room 203, Chicago, Illinois 60637.

The University of Chicago serves as the Black Metropolis Research Consortium’s host institution and 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 American 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.

Since its founding in 2006, the BMRC has complete two major archival management projects making previously “hidden” collections available for researchers, scholars, and artists.  The Consortium believes that web-based research tools provide an excellent opportunity for broadening access to unique primary source materials held in its members’ collections.