Funds will support preservation, accessibility, promotion, and further development of the library’s African American and Hispanic research collections.
The African American History Research Center at the Gregory School (AAHRC) opened its doors in 2009 and is one of the few African American institutions in the U.S. actively collecting archival materials. Its mission to preserve and celebrate African American history is supported with a staff of professional archivists who maintain and build the collections. This highly trained staff also provides specialized skills in community archiving and knowledge of Black history for researchers. The AAHRC is still building its collections and relies on community contributions to help document and tell stories of African Americans in Houston and surrounding areas.
Houston Public Library’s Hispanic Collections benefit from the continuous care and custody of archivists through the Houston History Research Center (HHRC), which was established in 1970. The contributions of Hispanics in every industry in the Bayou City are accounted for in over 100 collections of papers and photographs. These records, coupled with oral histories, reflect a rich tapestry of the Hispanic experience and include a significant number of materials about early Houston mutualistas (mutual aid societies), big band, Tejano, and Chicano music, the lives of Mexican Americans during World War II, and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
Ann Stern, president and CEO of Houston Endowment, lauds the library’s efforts, “We are proud to recognize organizations driving social justice and racial equity across arts, culture, history, civic engagement and education.”
The library’s goal to expand online access to materials will be realized with this significant funding for ongoing archival digitization work. Funding will also provide much-needed support for the preservation and storage of physical materials.
Houston Endowment is a private foundation that partners with others to achieve a vibrant and inclusive region where all residents can thrive. It advances equity of opportunity through deep commitments to PreK-12 public education and civic engagement; supports cultural assets that engage and connect us; and drives sustainable change across the region.