Harvard College Bachelor of Arts diploma of Richard Theodore Greener, June 28, 1870 (HUM 201)

Richard Theodore Greener (1844-1922), professor, lawyer, and diplomat; was the first African-American graduate of Harvard College, receiving his AB from the College in 1870.

Open for research.

Harvard Sound Money Campaign Club membership certificate belonging to Eugene Monroe Gregory, 1896 (HUM 166)

Eugene Monroe Gregory was an African American lawyer who received an AB from Harvard in 1898. The Harvard Sound Money Campaign Club was organized on October 6, 1896, during the presidential campaign between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan in which the issues of the gold standard and free silver were hotly debated. The non-partisan Club, open to all Democratic or Republican students in the University who favored sound money, gave out membership certificates (known as "shingles") featuring “gold bugs.”

Open for research.

Plenyono Gbe Wolo personal archive, 1913-1941 (HUG 4879.405)  

Educator, theologian, and lawyer Plenyono Gbe Wolo (circa 1890-1940) was the first Black African to graduate from Harvard University receiving an AB in 1917. Collection primarily includes letters written by Wolo to his friend and benefactor Emeline Fletcher Dickerson as well as letters between Wolo's benefactors as they secured funding on his behalf. These letters provide insight into the life and experiences of a Black international student at Harvard, Christian missionary networks, and politics in Liberia during the 20th century. The collection also includes photographs of Wolo and writings by Wolo on education in Africa, Christianity, and a brief autobiography.

Open for research.

Ragan Henry letters to Joseph LeVow Steinberg, 1953-1959 (HUM 340)

Lawyer and broadcast entrepreneur Ragan Henry (1934-2008) was the first African American to own a network-affiliated television station, purchasing WHEC in Rochester, New York in 1979. Henry received an AB from Harvard College in 1956. The letters to Joseph LeVow Steinberg provide insight into the life and experiences of a Black Harvard student and cross-racial friendships. Topics discussed within the letters include work, dating, family, recreation, military service, and law school.

Open for research.

Records of the Standing Committee to Develop Afro-American Studies kept by Myles V. Lynk, 1969-1974 (HUM 365)

Dating from 1969 to 1974, the Records of the Standing Committee to Develop Afro-American Studies kept by Myles V. Lynk document Lynk’s work in the establishment of the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard in 1969. Notes, memoranda, letters, and reports were created by members of the full Standing Committee to Develop Afro-American Studies and its subcommittees. Topics addressed include curriculum development, faculty appointments, budgeting, library resources, and the formation of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research.

Box 1 of the Records of the Standing Committee to Develop Afro-American Studies kept by Myles V. Lynk is open for research. University records in Box 2 are restricted for 50 years from their date of creation. Student and personnel records in Box 2 are closed for 80 years from their date of creation. Specific restrictions are noted at the folder level.

The Sarah Anoke Collection, 1973-2010 (HUM 51)

A collection of publications, ephemera, and records collected by Sarah Anoke (AB 2009). Chiefly produced by the Harvard Black Students Association (BSA) and chiefly dating from the mid-2000s, the collection documents the experience of Black college students on the Harvard campus. Among the publications are inBLACK, Outlook, Oral Tradition, Black & Crimson, Harvard-Radcliffe Freshman Black Table, and the Black Guide to Life at Harvard. Ephemera, in the form of posters, programs, and flyers, documents events chiefly sponsored by the BSA, including senior thesis receptions, commencement and reunion activities, and a Black leadership conference. Scattered early ephemera from the 1970s documents the Harvard-Radcliffe Afro-American Cultural Center, a predecessor organization to the BSA. Student organizations represented in the collection include the Harvard Black Students Association, the Association of Black Harvard Women, the Harvard Black Men's Forum, the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, BlackCAST, and the Harvard Spoken Word Society.

Open for research.