The African American Collections and Outreach Archivist at the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library works closely with African American individuals and communities to curate their own archives.
A preeminent Southern historical archive at Carolina
Since 1930, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has collected and preserved the history of the American South. Today, more than 5,000 distinct collections, containing some 20 million items, reside in the stacks of Wilson Library and tell the stories of the past.
Through Carolina’s African American Collections and Outreach Archivist, the collection has begun to build relationships with populations that have historically been underrepresented in the archive. Chaitra Powell is the African American Collections and Outreach Archivist. She works closely with African American individuals and communities to curate their own archives, empowering them to preserve their histories in their authentic voices. In recognition of Powell’s work, Library Journal has named her one of 52 “Movers & Shakers” to watch in 2017.
“The outreach work that Chaitra does really strengthens communities,” says Bryan Giemza, director of the Southern Historical Collection. “It enables everyone from elders to high school students to community leaders to tell their stories and their history in profoundly empowering ways. These stories are going to inform communities for many years to come and they are going to send a clear signal that these narratives matter profoundly to our history.”
Continue reading more about this work at Carolina Development.
Published March 20, 2017.