Therefore, it would be quite appropriate for MSRC to develop an arrangement by which the largest possible number of persons could deposit their papers as part of the Archives. Other important materials for such a collection would be the photograph files of Black newspapers. These files would provide one of the most important means of documenting pictorially the Black experience in the United States.

     On the basis of the favorable response of the NNPA Board, the following components of the documentation program were established:

1. Effective July 1, 1974 all NNPA members would send one gratis copy of each edition of their papers to the Black Press Archives.

2. Photographs from the photo-morgues of NNPA member papers for the period prior to 1965 would be sent to the Black Press Archives for cataloging and preservation. Members would, of course, be supplied with gratis copies of any photographs required for use after deposit, and any reproduction would carry the appropriate credit line.

3. Members would arrange for the deposit of personal and professional correspondence, other papers, awards, memorabilia and photographs in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. All materials received would be professionally processed and preserved with the greatest care. Any restrictions on access to private or professional correspondence would become a part of the individual deed of gift and scrupulously respected by the Research Center staff. These elements of the documentation program were developed in recognition that for many years it had seemed desirable to establish a central depository for the records of the Black press and that much of the documentation of the history of the 2700 Black newspapers founded since Freedom's Journal in 1827 has been irretrievably lost. The Black Press Archives documentation program was designed to prevent a continuation of this situation.

     Another component of the program to document the history of the Black press is the collection of the office files, personal papers, photographs, tape recordings and memorabilia of outstanding journalists, cartoonists, editors, and publishers. These materials are deposited in the Research Center's Manuscript Division, where they are processed and made available for research under conditions prescribed by their donors.

 

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February 2000