Princeton and Five HBCUs Teach Students About Archives

Princeton University, along with five historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), launched a program to introduce students to the archival field. The program, titled Archives Research and Collaborative History (ARCH), recently held its inaugural weeklong session at Princeton.

The goal of ARCH is to “engage students and professionals in the work of the archival field, the importance of diversity in archival collections, how to use primary source documents and potential career opportunities,” Princeton University News reported.

The program invited a total of 12 undergraduate and two graduate students from Howard University, Lincoln University, Texas Southern University, Tougaloo College and Tuskegee University.

ARCH Program classroom session, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University LibraryARCH Program classroom session, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University Library

“Archives play a crucial role in our understanding of history, which includes the importance of diversity within that history,” said Anne Jarvis, Princeton’s Robert H. Taylor 1930 University Librarian.

“Working together with colleagues from historically Black colleges and universities on this program has meant that we are providing students with practical ways in which they can work on their archives back at their home institutions,” said Jarvis. “If the work appeals to students, they may then consider pursuing archival work after graduation and thus help to diversify the profession.”

The ARCH program was funded by Princeton University Library, the Princeton Histories Fund, Princeton’s Department of African-American Studies, the Humanities Council, the Center for Collaborative History and Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities.