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Annie L. McPheeters papers

Identifier: aarl90-005

Scope and Content Note

Annie L. McPheeters first donated the items in this collection in 1990 and continued until 1994. It is made up of letters, reports, notes, newspaper clippings, brochures, journals, pamphlets and books, to name some.

Among the numerous gems in the collection, are materials generated by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. These include, but are not limited to sorority by-laws, rituals and policies on hazing. Other materials featured in the collection are minutes taken by the Utopian Literary Club, historical programs from Warren Memorial United Methodist Church, reports written by McPheeters on the Auburn Branch Library and political brochures and letters, as well.

In addition, the collection consists of fascinating photographs and newspaper clippings which cover a host of subjects. Some of these deal with early Atlanta libraries, local universities, Auburn Avenue businesses, race relations and women's issues.

Currently, there are 26 boxes in the collection.


  • 1945-1990


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch

Perseverance, dedication and integrity can all be used to describe pioneering Annie, L. McPheeters.

She received an associate's degree in English and education at Clark College in 1929, where she worked as a library assistant and later became the acting librarian. After teaching in Summerville, GA and Greenville, SC, McPheeters earned a bachelor's degree in library science from Hampton University in 1933. A year later, she went on to become the first African-American professional librarian with the Atlanta Public Library. In 1950, McPheeters accepted the position of Reference Librarian with, Georgia State University, becoming the first African-American faculty member at the school. She later obtained her master's degree in library science from Columbia University in 1956 and furthered her education by enrolling in journalism courses at Georgia State University and Clark College during the seventies.

However, McPheeters' list of accomplishments doesn't end there. Listed below are some of her numerous achievements:
  1. Dean, Black Department of Library Services at Georgia State University
  2. Organizer, Atlanta Association For The Blind at the Auburn Branch library
  3. Board Member, Metropolitan Atlanta Association For The Blind
  4. Recipient, Bronze Woman of the Year Award (1953)
  5. Inductee, Who's Who of American Women
  6. Member, Helen A. Whiting Society
  7. Member, Utopian Literary Club
  8. Member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
In addition, many of McPheeters' writings have been published. Some of them are: An Educational Program for the Blind (1944), Library Eyes for the Blind (1944), Atlanta Branch Aids Negro Group (1949), Negro Progress in Atlanta, Georgia, 1950-1960. Scarcity of Children's Librarians in Public Libraries (1960), Negro Progress in Atlanta, Georgia, 1961-1970 (1974) and Library Service in Black and White. Some Personal Recollections (1988).

McPheeters played a great role in the development of the Auburn Avenue Research Library up until her death on December 23, 1994. Along, with former librarian Alice D. Cary, The Cary-McPheeters Gallery, which is located on the first floor, was named in her honor.


24.0 Cubic feet




The collection consists of the papers of Annie L. McPheeters from 1945-1990. Includes correspondence, reports, notes, photographs, and a variety of printed materials which are largely clippings, brochures, pamphlets, journals, and books. Much of the collection relates to McPheeters' personal involvement with the Auburn and the West Hunter Branches of the Atlanta Public Library, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the Warren Memorial United Methodist Church, and the Utopian Literary Club. Other topics reflect her interest in religion, state and local politics, the blind, race relations, the city of Atlanta, and women's issues.


Arranged by record type.
Inventory of the Annie L. McPheeters Papers aarl90-005 aarl90-005
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