The DePaul University Library has joined the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC), an association of more than a dozen libraries, institutions of higher education, and archival repositories sharing the mission to “connect all who seek to document, share, understand, and preserve Black experiences.” BMRC promotes the discovery, preservation, and use of “materials that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to metropolitan Chicago.”
Since 2006, BMRC has promoted communication and collaboration among librarians, archivists, students, scholars, and community members interested in pursuing African-American Studies in the Chicago area. Major BMRC initiatives have included a survey of African-American and Africa-related archival materials throughout Chicagoland, development of a searchable database of these materials, an innovative archival internship program for undergraduate and graduate students of color, and a fellowship program supporting doctoral students, post-doctoral scholars, independent researchers, and artists wishing to conduct research in BMRC member collections. Like Chicago Collections, of which DePaul is also a member, BMRC promotes collaboration across the city’s cultural heritage community, and provides DePaul students, faculty, and staff with new opportunities to benefit from the rich resources available across metropolitan Chicago for studying the history of the city and its people. Andrea Jackson, BMRC Executive Director, welcomed DePaul “back” to the Consortium, saying:
“We are pleased to welcome DePaul University as a new member! With members of the University having participated in the founding of BMRC, it is truly a full circle moment to renew that engagement – now with the Special Collections and Archives staff. We look forward to partnering with DePaul to encourage the growth of collections on African American and Diasporic experiences in Chicago, and promote broad research opportunities within their unique collections on social justice and Black students and faculty at the University.”
Library engagement with the Black Metropolis Research Consortium supports the university’s strategic goals of deepening our commitment to our urban mission, and promoting a diverse and inclusive campus environment. With the recent elevation of the Africa and Black Diaspora Studies Department to full, departmental status, access to BMRC resources and programs will be of even greater benefit to DePaul students and faculty pursuing innovative, multidisciplinary work in this important field of study.
An introduction to the Black Metropolis Research Consortium will be planned for interested students and faculty later this year. If you would like to know more about BMRC programs, internship, or fellowship opportunities, please contact Lori Murphy, Liaison Librarian for Africa and Black Diaspora Studies, or Jamie Nelson, Head of Special Collections and Archives.