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Afro-American Studies Program Records

 Record Group
Identifier: AC-14

Scope and Contents

The records comprise minutes, correspondence, syllabi, student papers, and collected material documenting the early years of the Williams College Afro-American Studies Program. Included are minutes of the Program committee and correspondence regarding extra-curricular activities, development of the Program, response to the death of Arthur Logan (Williams 1930), and recruitment of minority faculty members. Curricular and Program development files include Program proposals, syllabi, examinations and class exercises. The records also contain a variety of subject files, listed alphabetically, that cover issues such as use of Luce Committee funding, recruitment of black faculty, multicultural programs, honorary degree nominations, the student essay contest, and the work of other Williams groups such as the Williams Black Student Union (BSU) and the Anti-Apartheid Coalition.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1965 - 1980

Conditions Governing Access

The Afro-American Studies Program Records are open for research. Researchers are encouraged to contact Special Collections staff prior to a visit.

Conditions Governing Use

In consultation with Special Collections staff, reproductions may be made upon request. Material in this collection may be subject to copyright.

Williams College Afro-American Studies

The Afro-American Studies Program was designed as an interdisciplinary program to "focus on the history and culture of the Afro-American community – its roots in Africa, its experience in America, the difficulties it faces as an increasingly urban minority, socially and economically underprivileged, and the nature of the problems with which it confronts white America" (College Bulletin, 1969/70). The Program has been in existence since the 1969-1970 academic year, changing its name to the African-American Studies Program in 2000. The teaching faculty is drawn from different departments, including English, History, Music, Art, Political Science, Sociology, and Theatre. The Program was administered by the following Chairs during the period covered by these records: Joseph E. Harris (1970/1-1971/2, 1974/5), Robert Stepto (1972/3 acting), Reginald Gilliam (1973/4 acting), Williams Exum (fall 1976), Eileen Julien (spring 1977 acting), Melvin Dixon (1977/8-1978/9), Gail Peek (1979/80), and Dennis Dickerson (1980/1-1982/3, 1984/5).


1.0 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

L2 F7a

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Dennis C. Dickerson, professor of History and Chair of the Afro-American Studies Program, summer 1983.

Processing Information

The collection was processed initially in 1984, with further processing completed in 2001.

Afro-American Studies Program Records
Favreau, Brenda M.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2001-01: Revised by Sylvia Kennick Brown

Repository Details

Part of the Williams College Archives Repository

Sawyer Library
26 Hopkins Hall Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267