Congratulations to 2015 & 2017 BMRC Fellow Amani Morrison on being awarded the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Short-Term Travel Fellowship, which will support further engagement with UIC’s collections relating to Chicago housing conditions and policy in the mid-twentieth century. Additional congratulations for Ms. Morrison on joining the African and African American Studies Department at Washington University in St. Louis as a postdoctoral fellow in the fall!

“Say It with Pictures” Then and New: Chicago’s African American Photographers 1890-1930

The Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago will host a multi-tiered academic project led by former BMRC Fellow Amy Mooney, Associate Professor of art history at Columbia College Chicago, on the under-recognized impact of African American commercial photographers working in Chicago from 1890 through the 1930s. Sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the BMRC, with presenting partner Driehaus Foundation. For more information, please click here.

BMRC in the News

Read about BMRC featured on UChicago News in article titled, Students, scholars explore African-American archives in Chicago libraries here.

In Memorium: Doria Dee Johnson, former BMRC Fellow

It is with deep sadness that the BMRC announces the passing of former BMRC Fellow Doria Dee Johnson. If you would like to read about the work she did in 2012 as part of her Fellowship, click here. For more information on her life’s work, please click here. We offer our condolences to her family and all those she touched throughout her life.

BMRC Executive Director Featured in Archiving in Color Blog

Check out the newest post in the Archiving in Color blog here.

Former BMRC Fellow featured in Black Creativity at Museum of Science and Industry & Completes Erie House Project

Former BMRC Fellow Doug Williams cites the research he completed through BMRC encouraged him to enter, for the first time, Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition, the show his father started 50 years ago at the Museum of Science and Industry. This exhibit is the longest running African American juried art exhibit in the United States. Williams’ work “Double” will be displayed at the museum from January 15 – February 21, 2018. Further influenced by his father’s community service, Williams also completed a project with the Illinois chapter of National Organization of Architects for Erie House. Read more about that project here.

BMRC featured in the University of Chicago Library Newsletter

Libra is a newsletter for faculty and the University of Chicago community published by the University of Chicago Library with support from the Library Society.

For the whole newsletter, click here. To go directly to the BMRC article, click here.

Chicago History Museum Exhibit “Race: Are We So Different?”

Opens November 11th, 2017

It’s a simple truth. People are different. Throughout history, these differences have been a source of community, strength, and personal identity. They have also been the basis for discrimination and oppression.

The idea of “race” has been used historically to describe these differences and justify mistreatment of people and even genocide. Today, contemporary scientific understanding of human variation is beginning to challenge “racial” differences, and even question the very concept of race.

Race, developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, is the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view. Combining these perspectives offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States.Race brings together the everyday experience of living with race, its history as an idea, the role of science in that history, and the findings of contemporary science that are challenging its foundations. The exhibit opens November 11th  through to July 15, 2018 and is included in the museum general admission.

For more information, visit the museum website

Congratulations to former 2015 BMRC Fellow Diane Jones Allen, D. Eng., RLA, ASLA on the release of her book Lost in the Transit Desert: Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form, Routledge Publishers, which contains researched performed during her Fellowship with BMRC. More information about ordering and previewing the book here.

Congratulations to former 2015 BMRC Fellow Dr. Anita Mixon on completing her program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Communication! Dr. Mixon has accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Wayne State University.


The Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago is proud to partner with Two Seven Eight Media to establish the Chicago Hip-Hop Archive.

Considering the rich history of Columbia College Chicago as a champion of hip-hop culture in the country’s third largest city, the CBMR is a natural site for the preservation of the culture’s deep history, and to collaborate in educating audiences about Chicago hip-hop culture. Two Seven Eight Media is the production company behind the upcoming documentary film and archival project, Midway: The Story of Chicago Hip-Hop.

More information about the documentary film is available on their newly launched website:

Watch this space and the CBMR’s website at for more news on this exciting project!

Congratulations to 2016 BMRC Fellow Naa Oyo A. Kwate on being awarded The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program. These Fellowships are awarded annually to scholars wishing to conduct independent study or research at one or more of the Smithsonian’s 19 units and research centers. Dr. Kwate will be focusing on the National Museum of American History. Additionally, she is a Eurias Senior Fellow doing work on a project titled, “Reading the Street: Subjective and Objective Assessments of Neighborhood Charm and Disorder.”

Congratulations to BMRC Member institution Shorefront Legacy Center for its collaborative efforts with the Amistad Research Center, the South Asian American Digital Archive, Mukurtu, and the Inland Empire Memories Project of the University of California-Riverside in being awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries through the Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS) to host a series of forums titled: Diversifying the Digital Historical Record: Integrating Community Archives in National Strategies for Access to Digital Cultural Heritage. For more information on the project, click here.

Clarke, Neil HeadshotCongratulations to 2012 & 2015 BMRC Fellow Neil Clarke (and his son, Ayanda Clarke) on being installed as a chief in Osogbo, the capital city of Osun State in Nigeria. Clarke is now Chief Baba Neil Clarke, Alufopejo Awo of Osogbo. Read more about his appointment and all of his previous accomplishments here.

Morrison, Amani HeadshotCongratulations to 2015 BMRC Fellow Amani Morrison who won first prize in the National Council for Black Studies 2016 Graduate Student Essay Contest and also recently received University of California Berkeley’s Bancroft Library Study Award. Her research with BMRC helped to hone ideas for a dissertation project; she is now undertaking a cultural history project focused solely on Chicago’s South Side in the mid-twentieth century. She successfully completed her dissertation prospectus and have it approved by committee at the end of the fall semester. She is underway with researching and writing her first chapter and will return to Chicago’s archives in the fall for more focused research.

Optimized-ShoreFrontExt2014Congratulations to BMRC Member Shorefront Legacy Center on being awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries, in collaboration with the Amistad Research Center, the South Asian American Digital Archive, Mukurtu, and the Inland Empire Memories Project of the University of California-Riverside, will use a National Forum grant to host a series of meetings that will focus on integrating community archives in the National Digital Platform. The four meetings will convene a diverse group of community archives curators and practitioners, community members, scholars, and digital collections leaders, to discuss broader inclusion of these materials in national digital collections. Outcomes of the project will include a summary white paper providing recommendations for increased representation of marginalized communities and people in our digital cultural heritage.

Mixon_HeadShot_20160412Further congratulations to 2015 BMRC Fellow Anita Mixon for being the recipient of the Distinguished Women Teacher’s Award, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Campus Award for Teaching Excellence Award, based on student nominations. She has been selected as an Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) Fellow for 2016-2017. The theme for the year is “Publics” and we will participate in year-long activities and Fellow Seminars. As a research fellow, which carries a stipend and tuition waiver, her primary focus will be her dissertation project. Ms. Mixon thanks the BMRC and its generous financial support, for firming up her dissertation project!

Additionally, she is also the recipient of the Lynn M. Martin Award for Distinguished Women Teachers. Named for the founder, the Lynn M. Martin Award is designated to promote exceptional achievement in undergraduate teaching by women. Two awards (one for Teaching Assistants and one for Faculty members) are made annually by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Nice work, Anita!

Ortiz, Carlos Javier HeadshotCongratulations to 2015 BMRC Fellow Carlos Javier Ortiz on receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film / Video. Carlos plans to use the Guggenheim Fellowship to develop his next project, which is series of short films chronicling the contemporary stories of Black Americans who came to the North during the Great Migration. Beginning with his mother-in-law’s story, Carlos is exploring the legacy of the Great Migration a century after it began. For Carlos, who moved back and forth between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland as a child, the story of a displaced people in search of stability and economic opportunity resonates with his own.

Greene, Katrina HeadshotCongratulations to 2015 BMRC Fellow Katrina Greene Wood for her dissertation proposal and candidacy acceptance by the Art History Department at the University of Delaware. She will be returning to Chicago on April 29 to participate, along with 25 scholars, in a one-day workshop on public art organized by the Terra Foundation.

Bobier, Kim HeadshotCongratulations to 2015 BMRC Fellow Kim Bobier for receiving a Helena Rubinstein Fellowship in Critical Studies for the 2015-16 Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program and for future publication of her article “Soundsuit Redux: Nick Cave as Emerging Artist and Forward-Thinking Racial Theorist” in the International Review of African American Art, Spring 2016.

Megan KleinCongratulations to 2015 BMRC Fellow Megan Rigsby Klein for passing her last qualifying exam on the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity in October, successfully defending her dissertation proposal in January and being awarded an Arthur J. Schmitt Dissertation Fellowship for next year from Loyola University. She is also writing a chapter for an upcoming book on the costs and consequences of school closures.

Allen, Diane J. HeadshotCongratulations to 2015 BMRC Fellow Diane Jones Allen on being featured in the November 2015 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine and for being asked to be a speaker at the Landscape Architecture 50th Anniversary Event ” The New Landscape Declaration: Summit on Landscape and the Future” at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on June 10 and 11, 2016.

Ash, Jennifer HeadshotCongratulations to 2015 BMRC Fellow Jennifer Scism Ash who was recently awarded the UIC Chancellor’s Graduate Research Award for her project titled: “No Longer “Swept Under the Rug”: A History of Gender, Sexuality, and Political Organizing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 1950s-1980s.”  Her research findings on Ebony’s coverage of HBCUs will be included in this work.

47-a-c-bronzeville-historical-society-2Congratulations to Sherry Williams, founder and director of the Bronzeville / Black Chicagoan Historical Society for being saluted and featured by the Millennium Reserve organization for her work highlighting the importance of preserving African-American history in Chicago and for the migratory bird sanctuary nearby. The photo here is from Williams’ Underground Railroad Tours.

Dino awardCongratulations to BMRC Board Member Dino Robinson and the Shorefront Legacy Center for being awarded the Society of American Archivists Diversity Award!


Aaisha SAA AwardCongratulations to BMRC Board Member Aaisha Haykal from Chicago State University Archives and Special Collections for accepting the Society of American Archivists Preservation Publication Award.



Congratulations to 2012 BMRC Fellow Tony Burroughs!  He is the 2014 awardee of the Volkel Medal of Honor. The Illinois State Genealogical Society was organized in October 1968 under the guidance of the late Lowell M. Volkel (1936-1992), an archivist at the Illinois State Archives. For two decades he helped ISGS to grow and become the Society it is today. In honor of his accomplishments in the field of genealogy and records preservation, the Illinois State Genealogical Society established the Volkel Medal of Honor and the Volkel Hall of Fame.

The Volkel Medal of Honor is awarded during even-numbered years to a living person who has made significant contributions in the field of Illinois genealogy. The Volkel Medal of Honor will be presented at the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s fall conference.