The Bancroft Survey Project began in February 2008. Funded by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundations, the survey project is intended to be a simultaneously broad and in-depth survey of all manuscript holdings of the Bancroft Library, which has been collecting for over a century. Four archivists were hired to scour the collections for a three year term, during which they will review the vast myriad of manuscript materials and use a survey instrument designed to gather data on collection scope, subject categories, and physical condition. The survey archivists are Marjorie Bryer, Amy Croft, Dana Miller, and Elia Van Lith, and they are also the authors of this blog.

Monday, January 4, 2010

African American Ephemera

James de Tarr Abajian (1914-1986) was librarian of the California Historical Society from 1950-1968. He also served as curator of the Kemble Collections on Western Printing (until 1977) and as archivist for the San Francisco Archdiocese of the Catholic Church (until he retired in 1983). Abajian compiled many significant bibliographic resources on African Americans in the United States. These included Blacks in Selected Newspapers, Censuses and Other Sources: An Index to Names and Subjects and Blacks and Their Contributions to the American West.

Abajian also collected ephemera that documented the lives of African Americans. The following images were culled from his collection of Black ephemera (BANC MSS 82/77). These flyers and pamphlets offer a window into a wide variety of social, political, economic and religous activities in African American communities throughout California, circa 1968-1969.

--- M. Bryer

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