Allison Dorsey, professor of history at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, has developed an online archive documenting the civil rights movement at the highly rated liberal arts college. The Black Liberation 1969 Archive “stands as a bulwark against the college losing or forgetting the story of Black student activism, which significantly improved Swarthmore for the better,” says Professor Dorsey.
The project has collected more than 1,000 documents for the archive including items from the papers of former presidents and deans of the college and the Swarthmore Afro-American Student Society. Newspaper clippings from campus publications as well as local and national media are included. Also in the archives are documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which monitored student protests on the Swarthmore campus in the late 1960s. Oral histories from professors, community activists and Black alumni and photographs are also included.
Professor Dorsey is the author of To Build Our Lives Together: Community Formation in Black Atlanta, 1875-1906 (University of Georgia Press, 2004). She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of California, Irvine.
The Black Liberation 1969 Archive may be accessed here.