Coleman A. Young Mayoral Papers $87,400 Grant

The Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation Receives $87,400 Grant for the Coleman A. Young Mayoral Papers

December 27, 2012

Detroit – The Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation (DPLFF) has received a grant in the amount of $87,400 to process the Coleman A. Young Mayoral Papers. The grant was awarded by the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to the DPLFF through the efforts of its Executive Director, Patrice Merritt.

CLIR administers The Cataloguing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Program with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Since the program began in 2008, the Mellon Foundation has invested over $16 million in revealing previously hidden collections of high scholarly value.

Coleman A. Young (1918-1997) was the first African American mayor of Detroit and its longest serving mayor elected to five consecutive terms from 1973-1993.  The Coleman A. Young Mayoral Papers consist of 1,175 boxes of documents from Young's  twenty  years  as  mayor  of  Detroit.  The bulk of the documents pertain to communications from  city  of  Detroit  departments,  the  federal government,  and  a  wide  array  of  groups,  organizations,  and  citizens  from  Detroit  and Michigan. The records will be broken down into the following correspondence series: Businesses; Citizen's Letters; City of Detroit departments; Detroit Economic Development Corporation; State of Michigan; Wayne County; U.S. Government

The Detroit Public Library’s Executive Director, Jo Anne G. Mondowney, stated, “The opening of the Coleman A. Young Mayoral Collection will provide further insight into the urban renewal efforts and community empowerment occurring throughout the nation during the 1960’s.  The Detroit Public Library is honored to be the recipient of this grant that allows us to chronicle that chapter in American history not only for Detroit but for the world”

“We are at long last going to fulfill a tremendous gap in the historical record of Detroit,” said Mark Bowden, Coordinator of the Special Collections of the Detroit Public Library. “Researchers will be allowed insights into the racial, social, and economic dynamics of a major metropolitan area and a seminal figure in 20th century political history.”

The DPLFF grant award was selected from 100 initial proposals submitted from across the country.  The two-year processing endeavor will begin in January 2013 with assistance from Wayne State University students enrolled in its Archival Administration Program.  “Partnerships such as this enable our students to have “hands on” experience with original documents.  The fact that this is such a prestigious collection makes this experience a unique and challenging opportunity for our students,” stated Sandra Yee, Dean of University Libraries and the School of Information and Library Science.

The Detroit Public Library is the largest public library system in the state of Michigan with Main Library and 21 neighborhood branches, making it one of the most valuable and accessible institutions in metropolitan Detroit.



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