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Tuskegee Institute News Clippings File

A microfilm set produced in 1976 by the Microfilming Corporation of America in Sanford, North Carolina.  It consists of 252 reels of press cuttings and other materials relating to blacks in the United States, Africa, and elsewhere, collected or created by the Tuskegee Institute Department of Records and Research in Tuskegee, Alabama.  

The collection is a major legacy of the eminent black sociologist, Dr Monroe Nathan Work, who was Director of the Tuskegee Institute Department of Records and Research from 1908 until his retirement in 1938, but who continued in the Department until his death in 1945. Irene Jones McCoy, who also worked in the Department from 1922 until it was abolished in 1966, helped to ensure further consistency in the collecting and classification of the materials.

Scope and highlights of the Collection

Covering the years 1899 to 1966, these clippings were compiled from more than 300 major American national dailies, leading American south-eastern dailies, African-American newspapers, magazines, religious and social publications, and non-US newspapers.  They cover a variety of topics: civil rights, discrimination, economic conditions, lynchings, race relations, riots, sports, health, politics, and other subjects.  The overwhelming majority of the items in the collection date from 1910 to 1966.  In addition to mounted clippings, the microfilm set also includes some unmounted clippings, reports, and letters.

The microfiche collection is divided into three main series:

Series I: Main File:

This constitutes the bulk of the collection, containing 310 linear feet of mounted clippings, on 220 reels, dating from 1900 to 1966.

Series II: Miscellaneous Files:

This comprises 52 linear feet of mounted clippings in addition to selected other materials, on 29 reels, dating from 1899 to 1966.  The series contains the following sub-series:

  • Lynching, 1899-1966 (reels 221-236);
  • Necrology, 1912-1966 (reels 237-240);
  • Slavery, 1914-1945 (reel 240);
  • Emancipation Celebrations, 1913-1965 (reel 240);
  • Theatrical: Individuals, Troupes, etc, 1912-1939 (reel 241);
  • Theatres and Motion Pictures, 1912-1939 (reel 241);
  • Towns and Settlements, 1911-1966 (reel 242);
  • Cartoons, 1901-1946 (reel 242);
  • Inventions, 1911-1961 (reel 242);
  • Historical Data, 1912-1966 (reels 243-244);
  • Soldiers, 1918-1920 (reel 244);
  • Music, Poetry, and Art, 1911-1946 (reels 245-247);
  • Music, 1947-1966 (reels 247-249);
  • Art and Artists, 1949-1966 (reel 249); and
  • Extension Work, 1916-1942 (reel 249).

Series III: Negro Yearbooks and Finding Aids:

Series III, on three reels, contains ten editions of the Negro Yearbook, edited by Dr Work.  Despite its name, only ten or eleven editions of the Yearbook were ever published; the first in 1912, the last in 1952.  (One other may have been published for 1916-1917, but was not held in the Tuskegee Institute Archives.)  Also included on part of the final reel are the entire reel notes for the microfilm collection as well as all the extant filing catalogues.

 Accessibility and Catalogues

British Library Newspapers contains the microfilm set in its entirety.  All 252 reels in the collection are held together at the shelfmark M.A.410.

Items from the collection are not listed in the online or printed newspaper catalogues; they are recorded in a separate volume, providing a detailed subject classification breakdown of the contents of the entire collection, reel by reel:

  • Tuskegee Institute News Clippings File: Reel Notes.

In order to identify and order materials required, readers must consult this volume, which is shelved in the Main Reading Room, below the Place Sequence Catalogue (guardbooks).  It lists the cuttings, year by year, under subject headings, with the corresponding microfilm reel (and frame) numbers.

The volume is divided into:

  • Series I: Main File, 1900-1966 (reels 1-220);
  • Series II: Miscellaneous Files, 1899-1966 (reels 221-249); and
  • Series III: Negro Yearbooks, 1912-1952 (reels 250-252).

'Tuskegee Institute' and the appropriate reel number must then be quoted on requisitions slips, to enable staff to retrieve the items required. 


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