California State University, Dominguez Hills Acquires Massive Archive of Black History

Dr. Mayme A. Clayton

California State University, Dominguez Hills has signed an agreement with the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum board of directors to house its collection of African American history and culture on the university’s Carson campus.

The collection contains more than 2 million rare books, films, documents, photographs artifacts, and works of art related to the history and culture of African-Americans in the United States, with a significant focus on Southern California and the American West. The university intends to begin immediately cataloging and archiving the collection so that it is more visible and accessible to the public. It will be housed in the Gerth Archives and Special Collections at the University Library.

The collection had been housed since 2006 in the former Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse in Culver City. The Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum was originally founded by Dr. Clayton in 1975 as the Western States Black Research Center, which she had set up as a library for local residents in a renovated three-room garage at the rear of her home.

Dr. Clayton, a university librarian, collector, and historian, amassed the collection over 40 years. A native of Arkansas, Dr. Clayton earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley. She held a master of library science degree from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, and a Ph.D. in humanities from La Sierra University in Riverside, California. She served in library posts at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Clayton died in 2006.

Thomas A. Parham, president of California State University, Dominguez Hills, stated that “we are honored to announce this historic partnership and look forward to collaborating with the MCLM board of directors to provide the public one of the most important collections of materials by and about Americans of African descent. Owing to the social justice roots of the campus and its demographic makeup, we believe that there could be no better place or steward for the collection than this university.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Alcorn State University Recruited for Federal Student Pathway Program for Careers in Public Service

The Pathway Public Service Program was established in 2019 to develop the next generation of diverse, qualified, and motivated public health servants. Over the past five years, the program has hired over 100 student interns.

Five Black Scholars Selected for New Faculty Positions

The five Black scholars who aer taking on new roles are Khadene Harris at Rice University in Houston, Nakia Melecio at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Bettina Drake at Washington University in St. Louis, Arlette Ngoubene Atioky at Goucher College in Maryland, and Kandi Hill-Clarke at the University of Memphis.

Getty Images to Preserve Digital Photo Archives at Delaware State University

Currently, Delaware State University's photo archives contain thousands of photographs taken over the course of the university's 133 year history. Thanks to a new partnership with Getty Images, those images will be digitized and made available on

Porché Spence Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Advancing Diversity in Ecology

Dr. Spence currently serves as an assistant professor of environmental studies at North Carolina A&T State University. Throughout her career, she has developed several educational programs geared towards introducing students of color to environmental science fields.

Featured Jobs