Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture and North Carolina Central University’s University Archives, Records and History Department are the joint recipients of the historical archives of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, the nation’s largest and oldest African American life insurance company.
|North Carolina Mutual past presidents (l to r) John Merrick, C.C. Spaulding, and Aaron Moore
The company’s archives includes thousands of business documents, newsletters, commercials, photography and books which chronicle the vitality of Durham’s “Black Wall Street” in the early 20th century. During the Jim Crow era, North Carolina Mutual allowed the black middle class access to home mortgages, small business loans, and insurance. The archives may be the largest assemblage of African American corporate material in the nation.
The John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of the papers of John Wesley Blassingame, the nationally-renowned scholar of American history and author of such influential works as The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South and Frederick Douglass: The Clarion Voice.
Blassingame’s path-breaking scholarship has had a profound impact on the American understanding of slavery and the African American experience. The collection includes correspondence, personal manuscripts and research files from Blassingame’s long academic career, and is particularly rich in materials drawn from his work on the Frederick Douglass Papers.
For more information on using this collection, contact the Franklin Research Center staff at franklin-collection(at)duke.edu.
The RBMSCL is now accepting applications for our 2010-2011 travel grants. The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture, and the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History will award up to $1,000 per recipient to fund travel and other expenses related to visiting the RBMSCL to use their collections. The grants are open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars living outside a 50-mile radius from Durham, NC.
More details—and the grant application—may be found here. Applications must be postmarked no later than January 29, 2010. Recipients will be announced in March 2010.