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Africana Center Records

Call Number: UA113

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of records from the Africana Center. It contains artifacts; photographs; publications; and subject files collected and created by the Africana Center from 1969 to 2019. Materials within the subject files date from 1939-2011. The majority of the collection dates from 1970 – 2005. The material was created or used in the day to day functions of the Africana Center and mainly consists of paper records in the form of subject files.

The artifacts in this collection include banners created by students for Africana Center events, as well as posters, a t-shirt, and buttons and a flag commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Photographs in this collection mainly record Africana Center events. Publications and subject files include many formats and cover a wide range of topics, including affirmative action, the Tufts Black Alumni Association, freshmen orientation, student life, Black History month, and guest speakers and performers.

The records relate to the Center's work to enhance the academic mission of the University by ensuring that students of African descent have access to resources supporting a successful Tufts experience and preparing them for leadership positions. The collection covers the Center's work from its founding in 1969 through to its development into a provider of academic and social resources and activities for students of African descent. Some of the larger projects represented in the records include the founding of the Tufts Black Alumni Association; the organization of the freshmen orientation Cape Cod retreat; the development of the Black Student Handbook; the development of the peer advisor program; Black History month events; and the administration of Capen House, a living and learning space for fifteen undergraduates interested in African diaspora history and culture who reside in the house, which is located on the second and third floors of the Africana Center building.
Content Warning This finding aid contains language that may be offensive or outdated. Because such language is in existing titles or direct transcription of materials, it has not been changed. Keeping this language intact provides the most accurate depiction of the creators’ intent, and can potentially tell us important things about bigotry and bias on the part of the creators, or in a particular historical context. It can also preserve terms formerly applied by a group to self-identify that have since fallen out of common usage. For more information on TARC's content warning policy please visit our website.


  • Creation: 1939 -- 2019
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 -- 2005



This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Tufts Archival Research Center website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

Founded in 1969, the Africana Center was developed in recognition of the realities of the needs and concerns of the students of African descent on a predominately white campus. The Center works to enhance the academic mission of the university by ensuring that students of African descent have access to a variety of academic, cultural and student resources that encourages them to have a successful Tufts experience and prepares them to be leaders for a wide range of professional experiences. In addition, the Center works to ensure that students have access to all necessary resources, advises the administrative and academic offices of the university on such issues and advocates proactively for students. The Africana Center is located at 8 Professors Row on the 1st Floor. The second and third floors of the building serve as a living and learning space (Capen House) for fifteen undergraduates who reside in the house during the academic year. These students are selected each year to live in the dorm and work as a community to complete individual and group projects which celebrate the rich cultural heritage of people of African descent.


15.64 Linear Feet (7 record cartons, 5 document boxes, 2 oversized boxes)

5 Digital Object(s) (5 digital objects containing 30 files.)

220.086 Megabytes

Language of Materials



This collections contains the records of the Africana Center, founded at Tufts University in 1969 to address the needs and concerns of students of African descent. Records include subject files, artifacts, photographs, and publications.


This collection is organized in four series: Artifacts and posters; Photographs and slides; Publications; and Subject files.

Separated Materials

Duplicative copies of the publication Onyx were transferred to UP034.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Archives and Research Assistant Rose Koven under the supervision of Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt in 2018. Materials were placed in archival folders if original folders were damaged, and loose materials were placed in folders where needed. Original folder titles were maintained where applicable, and new titles were assigned where necessary. Folders were received in order grouped loosely by material type and subject. These groupings were largely maintained, although alphabetization was standardized to improve access. Blank forms and empty unlabeled folders were deaccessioned. Publications received in 2023 were processed by Kate McNally, Records and Accessioning Archivist. Materials were placed in archival housing, and item-level description was created at the time of processing.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States