Black Gold: Panning for Florida's African-American Archival Treasures


The project will process and open to the public 12 new collections totaling 300 cubic ft. These unique collections vary in size, scope, and medium type. They are grouped under 2 categories: FAMU History and Performing and Visual Arts. Seven collections under "FAMU History" relate to the education of African Americans and phenomena occurring at historically black colleges and universities. The records were created during the period of racial segregation and include the papers of 4 former FAMU presidents: J.R.E. Lee, 1924-1944, (4 cubic ft.); William H. Gray, 1946-1959, (8 cubic ft.); George W. Gore, 1950-1968, (8 cubic ft.); and Benjamin L. Perry, 1968-1977, (15 cubic ft.). The largest FAMU collection is: FAMU Public Relations Collection, (60 cubic ft. of records). Two collections relate to athletics: Alonzo Jake Gaither Black College Football Collection (40 cubic ft.); and FAMU Football Film Collection (40 cubic ft.). Five collections under "Performing and Visual Arts" offer insight into the artist, cultural, entertainment and intellectual interests of African Americans living in different regions. They include: Eugene Aaron African-American Art and Book Collection (45 cubic ft.); Beverly Barber FAMU Orchesis Dance Theater (20 cubic ft.); Rosalind Ellerbee African-American Film and Book Collection (20 cubic ft.); Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Art Collection (25 cubic ft.); and the Rawn Spearman Performing Arts Collection (15 cubic ft.).


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



Meek-Eaton Black Archives and Museum


  • E. Murell Dawson

Collection Size

300 cubic feet

Date Range

1924 - 2008

Geographic Scope

Most of the materials that will be cataloged under this project represent institutions and the lives of people of color living in the United States.