The Black Metropolis Research Consortium

This exhibit is sponsored by the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, an unincorporated Chicago-based association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions with major holdings of materials that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago. The BMRC is dedicated to making its members’ relevant holdings broadly accessible. The University of Chicago serves as Host Institution of the BMRC.

The City of Chicago holds one of the richest and most valuable treasure troves of African-American related archival material in the country. The archival materials are not concentrated in a single institution (although some institutions, like the Vivian G.  Harsh Collection of the Chicago Public Library and the DuSable Museum of African American History have especially rich holdings).

Particular archival collections are often split up between different institutions, and much of this valuable archival material has not yet been “processed.” This means that no finding aids have yet been produced for these materials and it is consequently impossible for researchers to learn of their existence other than by word of mouth. This rich archive will best be made accessible through collaborative effort.

The work of the Consortium to preserve valuable African American history is guided by BMRC Executive Director, Vera Davis, by Consortium Archivist, Tamar Dougherty, and by a nine-person Board chaired by Dr. Adam Green, Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Chicago. The BMRC is proud of its involvement with this exhibit, which celebrates the ongoing contribution of African Americans to the life of the mind here at the University, throughout Chicago, and across the nation and the world.

For further information about the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, please visit its web site: