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Purdue University Black Cultural Center records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 176

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection document the programs, activities, and community created by and surrounding the Purdue University Black Cultural Center (BCC) from its inception in 1969 up until the present day. It includes publications about the African American community; newspaper clippings and marketing material created by or with the subject of the BCC; photographs of the BCC, its events, students, and staff; speeches delivered by or about the BCC; correspondence between members of the BCC and other organizations both on and off the Purdue campus; and audio-visual recordings for various events hosted by the BCC, including but not limited to: performances by the BCC’s Performing Arts Ensembles, the Black Cultural Arts Festival, guest speaker events, and documentaries about the BCC and the African American experience at Purdue.
Notice Some materials contain offense imagery or descriptions, including references to lynching, cross burnings, and student suicide, and may cause distress for the viewer. The content was included by the creator and have been retained to accurately preserve and portray the materials and the history of violence experienced by the Black community in Indiana. Please take care when viewing the materials.


  • 1969 - 2023
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 2000


Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyright held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Historical Information

The Purdue University Black Cultural Center (BCC) was established in 1969 as an educational, event, and community-building location for the entire campus. The Center was originally located in a house on University Street, where it existed for nearly 30 years before a new center opened in 1999. The Black Cultural Center includes a library, study rooms, and meeting rooms for student and staff use. Throughout its existence, the BCC has hosted and sponsored numerous programs, events, and activities through its mission to further education, awareness, and understanding among different cultures.


4.725 Cubic Feet (Eight shoe boxes, two cubic foot boxes, three letter-size full-width manuscript boxes, one legal folder, and one flat folder.)

Language of Materials



The Purdue University Black Cultural Center collection is arranged into five series by document type and subject matter.
  1. Publications
  2. News and Marketing Material
  3. Photographs
  4. Subject Files
  5. Audio-Visual Recordings

Technical Access Information

Audio-visual materials must be migrated to a digital format before use. Contact Purdue University Archives and Special Collections if interested in using this material.

Acquisition Information

Original transfer from the Black Cultural Center via Renee Thomas and Jolivette Anderson-Douoning on April 7, 2011. Subsequent transfers from the Black Cultural Center Library via Langston Bates on November 13, 2012; BCC Library via Jamillah Gabriel on August 23, 2013; the Black Cultural Center via Jamillah R. Gabriel on December 1, 2015.

Additonal materials donated by Judith Downie, Special Collections and History Librarian, California State University on March 22, 2018.

Other materials transferred from the Black Cultural Center via Nikki Johnson on December 13, 2018. A departmental records transfer on March 6, 2019 from Black Cultural Center followed a donation by Dr. Leonard Harris to Black Cultural Center.


New editions of the newsletter are added to the collection once per academic year.

Separated Materials

Purdue Black Alumni Organization "Insights" newsletters for Fall 2006 and Fall 2007 were moved to UA 182, Purdue Alumni Association records.

Processing Information

Materials in binders were removed, and like items were organized into series. Items were placed into acid-free folders and boxes. Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper for preservation and accessibility.
Purdue University Black Cultural Center records
In Progress
Kay Hawthorne, Neal Harmeyer, and William Niner
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Fourth edition. Collection description first completed 2020-03-04.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-05-20: Collection description updated, by Adelle Rogers.
  • 2020-11-11: Updated collection description and notes, by Neal Harmeyer
  • 2022-09-13: Updated collection description and notes; rearranged collection physical and intellectually; added additional levels of description; and added file and item-level entries, by William Niner
  • 2023-05-15: Updated Scope and Contents to include statement regarding offensive content by William Niner.
  • 2024-02-27: Added archived website to finding aid- Ben Parnin

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States