About the David C. Driskell Center Archives & Blog

About the Collection About the Project How the Collection is Organized
Visiting the Archives About the Blog Our Website and Online Database

About the Collection
As a pioneer in the study and practice of African American art and an avid collector, David C. Driskell’s collection of correspondences, articles, ephemera, and both personal and professional writings is a necessary and vital resource for the holistic study of African-American and African art and culture. Since Dr. Driskell donated his one-of-a-kind collection to the David C. Driskell Center in 2009, the Center’s Archives staff has been working to preserve and process it for access for the public online through our PastPerfect database.

About the Project
Through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through the Council on Library and Information Resources [CLIR], Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program, we are working to process all of the David C. Driskell Papers which include documents, letters, ephemera, photographs, slides, and audio-visual material. We’re very excited to bring the Driskell Papers to light and to have them used by researchers and the general public. The papers will be represented in a final finding aid online as well as through a searchable database using PastPerfect. You can visit our PastPerfect catalog here. (Please note that the PastPerfect catalog only represents what we have already processed. It is updated weekly with new records!)

How the Collection is Organized
The David C. Driskell Papers are being arranged into eleven different series: the first nine series are based on the roles that Professor Driskell has played during his personal and professional life and the final two series are based on the format of the non-print materials. Below is a list of the eleven series and what information you can find within them. As we update the blog, we will highlight various series and the interesting items that we find within them.  The series that have links are series that are available for review in our PastPerfect database. For series that do not have links, they are not yet processed.

  • Series 1: Personal—This series focuses on Prof. Driskell’s personal life and includes his diaries, calendars, clippings about him in newspapers and journals, and various other aspects related to his personal life.
  • Series 2: Educator—Focusing on his career as an educator, this series pulls together the various records and correspondences Prof. Driskell kept from his time at Fisk University, the University of Maryland, as well as various other institutions where he was a visiting professor.
  • Series 3: Exhibitions—This series includes records that Prof. Driskell kept regarding exhibitions in which his art was featured, where his personal art collection was the focus, and exhibitions he curated.
  • Series 4: African American Art and Diaspora—Materials collected by Prof. Driskell which allowed him to keep up with what was going on around the world in art are in this series which includes exhibition catalogues, ephemera, artist files, and subject files.
  • Series 5: Artists and Individuals—Organized alphabetically by surname of the individual, this series pulls together the correspondences and related files that Prof. Driskell kept with various artists and scholars.
  • Series 6: Colleges and Universities—The records in this series contain material related to Prof. Driskell’s lectures and appearances at various academic and cultural institutions.
  • Series 7: Museums and Galleries—This series documents David Driskell’s relationship with cultural institutions.
  • Series 8: Organizations—The records in this series reflect the interactions and relationship Prof. Driskell had with various organizations that are not academic or museums and galleries.
  • Series 9: David C. Driskell Center—Prof. Driskell’s files on the establishment of the David C. Driskell Center.
  • Series 10: Audio/Visual—Various films, VHS tapes, and audio recordings make up this series.
  • Series 11: Photographs—This series compiles all of Prof. Driskell’s photographs and slides.

Visiting the David C. Driskell Center Archives
The Archive is open to researchers Tuesday-Friday between 10:00AM and 4:00PM.

To plan a visit to the Archives, please contact us at least 5 business days before your planned visit so that materials may be reviewed and prepared for your use. Because the entire collection is not processed, there may be documents that are not available for research, but we will help you to the best of our abilities.

If you are interested in visiting the Archives, please contact us at driskellcenter@umd.edu or call us at (301) 314-2615.

About the Blog
Led by Archivist Stephanie Maxwell, the Archives staff will be updating this blog every two weeks to keep you updated on the processing of the papers, interesting items we find, what new records have been posted to PastPerfect, how to utilize our resources, and the general day-to-day of archive work!

We’ll be monitoring comments and will try to provide quick responses to any questions. Please feel free to leave a comment or to send us an email at driskellcenter@umd.edu.

Our Website and Online Database
To find out more about the David C. Driskell Archives, visit our website at http://www.driskellcenter.umd.edu/collection/index.php.

You can also visit our online database PastPerfect here. This database is updated weekly with the most recent materials that we’ve processed!

You can visit the website for the David C. Driskell Center at driskellcenter.umd.edu to find out more about David C. Driskell and upcoming exhibitions and events.

We hope that you’ll visit us often and visit us soon!

One thought on “About the David C. Driskell Center Archives & Blog

  1. Pingback: What to Expect from the Archives in Fall 2013 | Driskell Center Archives Blog

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