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Special Collections At TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
Texas Southern University Obidike Kamau, Ph. D. Library Director Robert J. Terry Library Norma Bean Associate Director
Texas Southern University The Special Collections n n The The Barbara Jordan Archives Gallery of Traditional African Art Heartman Collection Texas Southern University Archives
The Barbara Jordan Archives This collection is an extraordinary gift from one of the University’s most distinguished alumnae, and spans her life and career from 1967 through her death in 1996. The assemblage of materials includes papers, manuscripts, speeches, photographs, mementos, trophies, an extensive library and hundreds of videotapes and audiotapes.
Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
The Heartman Collection A collection that provides vibrant testimony to the strength and spirit of Black people. The collection contains books, pamphlets, slave narratives, journals, musical scores and other documents pertaining to the growth and development of Blacks in Texas, the United States and the world. The Heartman has been noted as the largest and most comprehensive research collection on Blacks in the southwest U. S.
The Gallery of Traditional African Art This collection is composed of over 200 works of art from most regions in Africa. Included in the collection are rare textiles, musical instruments, an array of masks and ancestral figures. Every piece is at least 100 years old, and several are more than 300 years old. It is a unique teaching collection that gives students great insight into specific African cultures.
From the Traditional African Art Collection
The Project Texas Southern University is, as most HBCU’s sitting on a rare and unique treasure in its Special Collections. The collection, particularly the Jordan Archive and Heartman Collection is of great interest to scholars. There are scholars who make their way to TSU from across the country to utilize materials in our Archives.
The Project continued There are scholars who are for various reason unable to physically travel to the University to utilize the materials. Our purpose is to make the Jordan Archives and Heartman Collection more accessible to the scholarly community by digitizing the collections and making them available electronically.
The Project continued We are also seeking to market our Special Collections more widely—to increase visitors, either actual or virtual, but to minimize the handling of the collection which further exposes the collection to an interested audience, while better protecting the materials.
Most Significant Challenges n n Demonstrating value of collection to various campus decision makers Budgetary considerations Staffing Workspace issues
How Challenges are Being Overcome n n Soliciting assessments from outside Scholars Utilizing Jordan anniversaries Recruiting the TSU Development Team The Southwest Research Center for Africana Life and Culture
Current Status n n n Buy-in from Associate Provost of Academic Affairs Buy-in from Vice President of Development Buy-in from Ms. Rosemary Mc. Gowan (Ms. Jordan’s Sister) Choosing technology Searching for funds for Processing Archivist TRB for new Library Building