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Atlanta University collection

Identifier: aarl89-017

Scope and Content Note

The Atlanta University Collection contains an extended documentation of correspondence, administrative records, which include meetings, business records, financial records and political fund raising. The bulk of this material falls between the years 1865 and 1965, and it is arranged into the following series: I. Printed Materials (1882-1929) II: Presidential Reports and Minutes (1894--1965); III General Correspondence and Historical Sketch (1865-1900s); IV. Financial Documentation (1899-1900s); V. Photographs and Portraits, (1865-1900s); VI. Legal and Legal-Style Documents, (1870-1900s); VII. Literary Productions


  • Majority of material found within Bulk, 1882-1965
  • Bulk, 1882-1965 1865-1994 1882-1965


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on the research use of this collection.

Historical Sketch

Atlanta University is the first all-black American graduate school. The University began as an undergraduate institution for post-baccalaureate studies in 1929, with John Hope as the president, from 1929 until the time of his death in 1936.

Actually, the history of Atlanta University began in classes established immediately after the end of the Civil War, for the children of slaves whose humanity had been acknowledged by the winning of that terrible war. These classes said, in effect, that there had been a purpose to all the war's suffering, that the situation of the children of the slaves was not hopeless, that they would be led to the highest expression of their humanity. These first classes were held in a church and in a railroad boxcar, which was to be the "future Atlanta University".

Today, the catalogue of Atlanta University lists five schools with various programs for candidates for the Master's Degree: Arts and Sciences, Social Work, Business Administration, Education, and Library Service.

The Atlanta University Center is comprised of Morehouse College, an Undergraduate School for Men; Spelman College, an Undergraduate School for women; and Atlanta University, a Co-educational Graduate School, which was founded in 1929. In later years, three other Black Colleges were established in Atlanta: Clark, Morris Brown, and a Theological Seminary joined the complex, making it the largest educational center for African-Americans in the world.


3.5 Linear feet




The collection contains documents spanning the dates from 1865 to 1989, with the bulk of the material from the period 1882-1865, and relating to the history and operation of Atlanta University and later Atlanta University Center, including newspaper clippings, ephemera, presidential reports, general correspondence, financial documents, photographs, legal documents, and essays, memoirs, and speeches.

Processing Information

Processed by Regina Broh-Gastin, 1989

Revised May, 1994.

Inventory of the Atlanta University Collection aarl89-017 aarl89-017
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
2004 September 15
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303