Opening of Research Library

Ribbon Cutting
From left, Sharon Wilkins, Dr. Fatimah Jackson, Historian Michael Frazier, and Superintendent Shirley McKinney.

National Park Service

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News Release Date: January 24, 2017

On December 29, 2016, the African Burial Ground National Monument (AFBG) celebrated the opening of a new research library and archival storage. The opening of the research library coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the burial ground’s rediscovery in 1991 and fulfilled a commitment to the descendant community to reunite the AFBG’s archival materials with the site. 
The archival materials include African Burial Ground Project (ABG) records from 1935 – 2009 gathered and maintained by the General Services Administration (GSA) prior to the establishment of the National Park Service memorial. These records include textual documents, images, audio-visual, and electronic records generated by GSA, organizations and institutions which participated in the rediscovery, documentation and memorialization of the site.  The records document the history of the unearthing, research, the documentation of the human skeletal remains and associated artifacts. Many of these records hold particular significance because the human remains and artifacts were reinterred in 2003 and are no longer available for study.
The celebration commenced with a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the new research library, followed by an open house and a symposium/panel discussion on the Past, Present & Future: The 25th Anniversary of Rediscovery, of the African Burial Ground. Scholars participating in the panel discussion were Dr. Fatimah Jackson, Professor of Biology, Director of the W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory at Howard University; Dr. Sherrill D Wilson professor of Urban Anthropology and Introduction to Sociology at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY; Ms. Sharon Wilkins, Manhattan Deputy Borough Historian and a member of the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force. 

Panelists from left, Dr. Sherrill D. Wilson, Sharon Wilkins, and Dr. Fatimah Jackson.

National Park Service

Last updated: January 24, 2017

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