Jackson State University in Mississippi has recently made available to researchers the Dr. Henry T. Sampson, Jr. Collection, which features the historic contributions of African-Americans to motion pictures, performing arts, music, radio, and television broadcasting in the United States between 1865 and 1970.
The materials for the collection were acquired during a period of over 40 years of research, which were published in five books authored by Dr. Sampson. As a native of Jackson, Mississippi, Sampson’s donation of the collection to Jackson State was based on family ties and his knowledge of the university’s high educational achievements. The collection is housed on the fifth floor of the campus library that bears Sampson’s father’s name.
“Dr. H.T. Sampson, Sr. was an executive dean at Jackson State when I was a student and he played a vital role in my becoming president here,” says Dr. John A. Peoples, president emeritus of the university. “The Sampson family has an astounding legacy at JSU and I’m glad to have been a part of it.”
Dr. Sampson, Jr. held a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois, where he was the first African-American to earn a doctorate in that field.