Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to Collections at the AUC Woodruff Library

Jessica Leming, AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library


This file consists of slides used to present an overview of the Spreading the Word Project, which focused on improving the accessibility of fourteen collections of rare materials that document African American religion spanning from the 1880s to the 2000s. These unique collections include correspondence, sermons and speeches, research files, photographs, and audio and video recordings. The collections document theologians and scholars, as well as Christian and Islamic ideologies. They were donated by educators and family that understood the importance of keeping the materials close to the community from where they were generated.

Thanks to a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, entitled Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African-American Religious Archival Collections of the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, the Library’s Archives Research Center and Digital Services Unit have digitized over 2,700 photographs, cassettes, and reel to reel audio and video formats. Almost 70 percent of these materials have been made available on the Library’s institutional repository, Digital Commons. The grant team prioritized these audio and video collections due to the inherent instability of magnetic media and the decreasing availability of playback equipment, a situation archives all over the country are currently facing.


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