Spelman College Receives a Donation of 14,000 Books From Harvard’s Skip Gates

Spelman College, the historically Black educational institution for women in Atlanta, Georgia, has received a donation of 13 pallets of books from Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s personal library. According to the college, the Gates’ donation is the single largest book donation ever received by an HBCU. The gift, which totals approximately 14,000 volumes, will be housed in the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, which serves Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College.

Dr. Gates believes that there was no better place than Spelman College for his collection to go. He made the donation to honor “the achievements of Black women of past, present, and future generations” including members of his own family, like his daughter Liza Gates, who is a Spelman College graduate. The books will be accessible to students, faculty, and staff of the Atlanta University Center starting November 1st.

Dr. Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University, and a master’s and Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Cambridge in England.


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  1. I love Dr. Gates. I met him in Prince George’s’ County, Maryland in 1998 when my son was 10 years old. He encouraged my son to go to Harvard. Well, he did not make it to Harvard but today he is a medical doctor and graduated from medical school with honors. Thank you Dr. Gates for planting those seeds in my son’s head.

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