Morgan State University seeks to preserve its history to share with the community

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This week is National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week – a time to reflect on the work they have done, the students they have graduated from, and focus on funding schools. As HBCUs look inward, they focus on the need to preserve their history and find ways to share it with the wider community. In northeast Baltimore, there’s a treasure trove of history to share, and it’s right on the Morgan State University campus. we conceptualize how people lived, ”said Ida Jones, archivist at Morgan State University. Jones said the HBCUs don’t want to accumulate their material, they want the world to have access to their archives so they can understand the past. here for over 150 years. Most of us, and therefore, have had a collection of materials for over 100 years, so we’ve gone to great lengths to look after ourselves, ”Jones said. Jones said the documentary evidence they preserved proves that something “Churches and schools for African Americans were central places where they could come together and get their stories written down in publications, organizations and also in photographs and artefacts, ”she said. And these photographs tell a story of black life many people don’t think took place, such as a photo of Queen Morgan State Homecoming and her court. who are going to be the grandchildren of enslaved people, it takes us to another level of understanding of who we were as Marylanders, as Morganites, and as Blacks, ”Jones said. Some of the photographs show educators and offer proof that black photography businesses existed. at the time. Morgan State has 500 linear feet of material in its collection dating from the 1870s. Their collection is used by people making documentaries and writers producing works on African American culture and history. “People are communicating all over the world. Someone is doing a documentary on Matthew Henson from London, and he was here in Annapolis and said, ‘You got all the Morgan stuff, can I come over and see this?'”, Jones said. Henson, born in Charles County, Maryland, is the African-American explorer who accompanied Robert Peary on most of his expeditions, including to the North Pole. in 1909, Morgan State, like many other HBCUs, is in the process of digitizing some of its collections.

This week is National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week – a time to reflect on the work they have done, the students they have graduated from, and focus on funding schools.

As HBCUs look inward, they focus on the need to preserve their history and find ways to share it with the community at large.

In northeast Baltimore, there’s a treasure trove of history to share, and it’s right on the Morgan State University campus.

“They tell you a layered story and help us conceptualize the way people lived,” said Ida Jones, archivist at Morgan State University.

Jones said the HBCUs don’t want to accumulate their material, they want the world to have access to their archives so they can understand the past.

“The institutions have been here for over 150 years. Most of us, and as a result, have been collecting records for over 100 years, so we have gone to our efforts to look after ourselves,” Jones said. .

Jones said the documentary evidence they were preserving proves something happened.

“Churches and schools for African Americans were central places where they could gather and collect their stories in writing in publications, in organizations and also in photographs and artefacts,” she said.

And these photographs tell a story of black life that many people don’t think happened, such as a photo of Queen Morgan State Homecoming and her court.

“What that shows us is that we have a fashion level with a woman wearing a fur and the idea of ​​what respectability was for these women, who are going to be the grandchildren of enslaved people, that brings us to another level of understanding who we were as Marylanders, as Morganites and as Blacks, ”Jones said.

Some of the photographs show educators and offer proof that black photography businesses existed at the time.

Morgan State has 500 linear feet of material in its collection dating from the 1870s. Their collection is used by people making documentaries and writers producing works on African American culture and history.

“People are communicating all over the world. Someone is doing a documentary on Matthew Henson from London, and he was here in Annapolis and said, ‘You got all the Morgan stuff, can I come over and see this? “” Jones said.

Henson, born in Charles County, Maryland, is the African-American explorer who accompanied Robert Peary on most of his expeditions, most notably to the North Pole in 1909.

Morgan State, like many other HBCUs, is in the process of digitizing some of its collections.


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