Beyond Fragmentation: A Critical Approach to HBCU Archival Research

Course Information

Instructor: Mali Collins
Location: Online
Dates: August 7–11, 2023
Tuition: $1200.00


This course will offer participants researching and interested in researching Black and Black-maintained archives, with an emphasis on HBCU archives. We will interrogate Black collections on the level of fragmentation, or otherwise thought as opacity or general difficulty in understanding a history fraught with violence and poor record keeping. There will also be an emphasis on methodologies related to “scraps.” By deploying a black feminist methodology of *scrap theory*, which elevates archival material otherwise thought to be interstitial, fragmented, or unimportant, students will gain a facility around interacting with HBCU collections and those concerned with Black history.  Content will be an integral part of the course, interrogating fragments of original owner/steward/subject and processors, (hair, lint, hair ties), etc., and the (im)possibilities of processing such materials. Last, this course surveys contemporary critical librarianship occurring in HBCU collections today, and the professionals that maintain them.






Completion of this course helps to meet requirements for one of the following certificate requirements:

  • 1 of 3 elective credit courses for Certificate in Rare Books and Manuscripts, or
  • 1 of 2 elective credit courses for Certificate in Librarianship, Activism, and Justice