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Detail over front entrance of Savannah’s Carnegie library on East Henry Street. Photo by author.


To date, the Roots of Community project has produced two journal articles, five conference presentations, two invited public lectures and eleven articles for BlackPast.org’s African American History online encyclopedia. A toolkit for practitioners will be published here in November 2019 and a final monograph in December.

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Journal Articles

Griffis, M. R. (2017). A Separate Space: Remembering Meridian’s Segregated Carnegie Library, 1913-74. Mississippi Libraries, 80(3), pp. 39-49.

Griffis, M. R. (2017). New Online Archive on Racially Segregated Libraries. Africology: The Journal of Pan-African Studies, 10(2), pp. 277-293.

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Conference Presentations

Griffis, M. R. (2018). Separate Places, Shared Spaces: Segregated Carnegie Libraries as Community Institutions in the Age of Jim Crow. Southern Historical Association 84th Annual Meeting, Birmingham, AL, November 8-11.

Arlitsch, K., Gibson, A., Griffis, M. R., Punzalan, R., and Yakel, E. (2018). News You Can Use: Highlights of IMLS-Funded Research and Early Career Development Projects. American Library Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 21-26.

Griffis, M. R. (2017). Making Voices Heard: Collecting and Sharing Oral Histories from Users of Segregated Libraries in the South. Oral History Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, October 4-7.

Griffis, M. R. (2017). Buildings and Books: Segregated Libraries as Places for Community-Making, Interaction and Learning In the Age of Jim Crow. Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) Annual Conference, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, June 9-13.

Griffis, M. R. (2017). Capturing Their Stories: Collecting Oral Histories from Users of Segregated Libraries in the South. Southern History of Education Society Annual Meeting, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, March 10-11.

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Public Lectures

Griffis, M. R. (2018). A Cornerstone of Community: Houston's ‘Colored Library,’ 1913 to 1961. 2018 Donor Appreciation Day, African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library, Houston, TX, June 2.

Griffis, M. R. (2018). Cornerstones of Community: Segregated Public Libraries and Carnegie Philanthropy. Speaker Series, African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library, Houston, TX, April 12.

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Project Toolkit

The Roots of Community: A Local Librarian’s Guide for Discovering, Documenting and Sharing the History of Library Services to African Americans in Their Community, is a public history toolkit intended for public librarians. [Completed and in process. Anticipated pub. date (will be posted here): ca. Nov. 2019.]

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Monograph

The project monograph, entitled Separate Places, Shared Spaces: Carnegie Libraries as Spaces of Community and Learning for African Americans is an analysis of all twelve libraries, including many historical images and excerpts from project interviews. [Completed and in process. Anticipated pub. date (will be posted here): ca. Dec. 2019.]

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External Resources

The following list is intended to help connect researchers to external resources, institutions, organizations and associations related to the project’s subject. Please direct any questions about these resources to the appropriate institution. Archival and special collections related to each specific case library appear on this site’s Library Profiles and Resources page.

African American Historical Association (AAHS)
Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
Blackpast.org: Remembered and Reclaimed
>African American History
>Global African History
Columbia University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
>Carnegie Corporation of New Your Records (1872-2015)
>Carnegie Corporation Oral History Project
Internet Archive
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
>African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition
>Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscape Survey Collection
Little-Known Black Librarian Facts, 4th ed. (2013) by Michele T. Fenton
Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute at Stanford University
Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University
New York Public Library Special Collections
>Manuscripts and Archives Division
>Miriam and Ira D Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs
>Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

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Submissions from 2018

PDF

A Cornerstone of Community: Houston's Colored Library, 1913 to 1961 (Presentation for Donor Appreciation Day, African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library, June 2018), Matthew R. Griffis

PDF

Cornerstones of Community: Segregated Public Libraries and Carnegie Philanthropy (Presentation for the African American Library at the Gregory School Speaker Series, Houston Public Library, April 2018), Matthew R. Griffis

PDF

News You Can Use: Highlights of IMLS-Funded Research and Early Career Development Projects (Presentation for the American Library Association Annual Conference, June 2018), Matthew R. Griffis

PDF

Separate Places, Shared Spaces: Segregated Carnegie Libraries as Community Institutions in the Age of Jim Crow (Presentation for the Southern History Association Annual Meeting, November 2018), Matthew R. Griffis

Submissions from 2017

PDF

A Separate Space: Remembering Meridian’s Segregated Carnegie Library, 1913-74, Matthew R. Griffis

PDF

Buildings and Books: Segregated Libraries as Places for Community-Making, Interaction and Learning in the Age of Jim Crow (Presentation for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing Annual Conference, June 2017), Matthew R. Griffis

PDF

Capturing Their Stories: Collecting Oral Histories from Users of Segregated Libraries in the South (Presentation for the Southern History of Education Society Annual Meeting, March 2017), Matthew R. Griffis

PDF

Making Voices Heard: Collecting and Sharing Oral Histories from Users of Segregated Libraries in the South (Presentation for the Oral History Association Annual Meeting, October 2017), Matthew R. Griffis

PDF

New Online Archive on Racially Segregated Libraries, Matthew R. Griffis