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Project Documentation

DC Africana Archive Project Banner
Thank you for your interest in the DCAAP project.  DCAAP concluded in December 2016. While we are no longer updating these web pages, researchers and archivists may find resources on these pages to be of use.

Project Documentation

As the project progresses, we will share training materials, presentations, and other project resources here.


Processing Materials

DCAAP Processing Manual-Revised 12.12.14


Training and Orientation

Student Orientation Presentation-March 2016

Student Orientation:Historical Context Presentation-November 2014

Project Partners Orientation Presentation-October 2014

Project Partners Check-In-August 2016



Teaching Resources

Undergraduate/Graduate Syllabus 

This course is designed to prepare both undergraduate and graduate  students for advanced, primary research in Africana Studies. Students will be exposed to both the theories and practice of using archival materials and primary documents to produce original research appropriate for advanced interdisciplinary study. This will be accomplished through a combination of in-class study, oral presentations, and research experiences at area archives, historical societies, or other organizations, and a final research project. Students will also be introduced to related subject matters, such as public history and digital humanities. The course will pay particular attention to the potential and pitfalls of archival research in the Africana Studies field.


Undergraduate Lecture

This PowerPoint includes material discussed during a lecture titled “Activist in the Archive: The D.C. Africana Archives Project,” for the Politics and Print course offered by the George Washington University Honors Program.  The purpose of the lecture was to introduce undergraduate students to activists and organizations who fought for the civil rights and social justice. Highlighted profiles included George Murphy, Jr., who was a global activists fighting against imperialism and apartheid and the grandson of Afro-American founder John Murphy.  Bethea-Welch Ladies Auxiliary, the first AFW in D.C. to allow black soldiers and families to participate in national programs AFW, and the ground-breaking photographic career Addison Scurlock and Scurlock Studios, are both featured in this lecture. There was a question and answer period following the lecture. This lecture was given by Doretha Williams on Thursday, October 6, 2016 in Professor Helen McManus' Honors 2053:Politics & Print class at George Washington University.


DCAAP High School Syllabus

The D.C. High School syllabus is designed to incorporate DCAAP collections within the daily curriculum.  Students have the opportunity to explore the collections throughout the semester.  There are multiple approaches to constructing the research narratives during the academic year.  In the first example, students will explore the issue of Home Rule in D.C. using selected collections processed through DCAAP.  Students explore the role of the Federal Government in Washington, D.C., calls from the District for home rule, and ways that D.C. citizens can have a voice in local government. Students will publish their writing using an online medium.  Students will evaluate the capital’s relationship to the federal government by analyzing primary and secondary sources, investigating efforts for home rule throughout history, and researching a current issue related to a lack of autonomy in the District in order to propose a solution to this problem in the form of a blog post. Throughout the semester, students will visit DCAAP repositories and complete research projects using processed collections.  


High School Learning Modules

As part of the D.C. Africana Archives Project curriculum initiative, we produced a PowerPoint presentations exploring the city’s history through archives.  In the fall of 2015, DCAAP designed and implemented an interactive learning experience for a local history high school course directed by Bernard Demczuk for the School Without Walls.  Titled “Do You Like Old History Stuff?” this introductory course brings to life the history of Washington, D.C. using archival material. Through this in-class discussion, students learned about the city’s struggle to self-govern through the Home Rule Act and the stalwarts who comprised the first city councils such as Hilda Mason and Arrington Dixon.  Students were introduced to the cultural wealth of Black Broadway and how it set the tone for theater and music on the east coast.  The culmination of the educational adventure for the students was a field trip to the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University in the fall of 2016.  The students explored the legacy of Howard University through the papers of past president James Nabrit, the literary genius of Amiri Baraka, the African-diasporic views of George Murphy, Jr., and the birth of a city through the professional records of Mayor Walter E. Washington.  

Research Visit Questions

Processing Workshop Materials

Workshop held at the SC Johnson Conference Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; April 23 & June 25, 2016


Processing and Finding Aids


Conference Presentations

October 2014-State of Black Research Collections: Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture

The D.C. Africana Archives Project Creative Collaborations: Historical Contribution, Educational Commitment & Community Connections

March 2015- Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Collections Conference

Opening Up in the Urban Archive: Innovation in Teaching, Research, and Digital Outreach

September 2015- Association for the Study of African-American Life and History

Collaboration! What a Wonderful World!

October 2015-Archives Fair, National Archives and Records Administration

D.C. Africana Archives Project

November 2015-DC Historical Studies Conference

D.C. Africana Archives Project

April 2016-College Language Assocation

Remembering Chocolate City: DC African Archives Project

June 2016-Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Annual Conference

D.C. Africana Archives Project

November 2016-Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference

D.C. Africana Archives Project


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