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African-American History at Brown University

Archival sources pertaining to African-American history at Brown University.

University Archives

The University Archives serves as the institutional memory of Brown University by collecting, preserving, and making accessible the materials that provide evidence of past University actions and contribute to an understanding of the university's structure and its history.

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University Records

Afro-American Studies / Rites & Reason records, 1970 - 2006 (OF-1ZAF-1)

Rites and Reasons Theatre records, circa 1971-1993 (OF-1Q-R1)

Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice


George Houston Bass papers, circa 1959-1990 (OF-1UF-B5)

Charles H. Nichols papers, 1954-1989 (PhD 1948) (OF-1UF-N1)


Rudolph Fisher papers, 1919-1983 (1919-1934) (Class of 1919, MA 1920) (MS-1U-F5)

Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard (Class of 1919)

Scrapbook (SB-P)

Biographiphical files

Religious Organizations

Brown University Christian Association records, 1881-1969 (OF-1Q-C1)*

Brown University-Tougaloo College Partnership

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University Records

Brown-Tougaloo Exchange records, 1961-1989 (bulk 1963-1969) (OF-1ZU-2)


Barnaby Conrad Keeney papers, 1936-1980 (bulk 1940s-1966) (OF-1C-12)

Howard Swearer papers, 1976-1990 (bulk 1977-1978) (OF-1C-15)


Zenas R. Bliss Papers, 1952-1966 (OF-1CA-B2)

Richard Ramsden papers, 1967-1984 (bulk 1977-1982) (OF-1CA-R1)


M. Charles Bakst papers, 1927-2009 (bulk 1962-2008) (MS-1U-B6)

Jessica Brooks papers on the Tougaloo-Brown Exchange, 1993-1994 (MS-1ZUT-1)

Robert F. Cohen, Jr., papers, 1952-1984 (bulk 1966-1972) (MS-1U-C8)


"Freedom Now!" archival research project


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Inman Page (Class of 1877)

George Washington Milford (Class of 1877)


The Manuscripts Collection at the Brown University Library includes corporate archives, personal papers, collections compiled by collectors (sometimes called "artificial" collections), and single manuscripts - more than 3,000,000 pieces of paper in all. The manuscript collection as a whole is a particularly rich repository for sources in U.S. history, American literature and the history of science, technology and medicine, but manuscripts are collected in nearly every subject area.

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J. Saunders Redding papers, circa 1940-1980 (Class of 1928, MA 1932) (Ms.98.1)


Hugh Pearson papers, 1950 - 2007 (bulk 1990 - 2004) (Class of 1979) (Ms.2011.006)

John Brown Watson papers, circa 1869-1942 (Class of 1904) (Ms. 84.4)


When searching finding aids (inventories) please note the historical terminology used in folder descriptions to describe people of color (African-American; African American; Afro-American; black; Negro).


For example, in the Brown University Christian Association records, the term “Negro” locates:

Negro Scholarship Service; United Negro College Fund; Negro students.

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