Research at the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
In addition to the house museum, exhibits, and multimedia, the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site preserves hundreds of artifacts and thousands of pages in our archives. These materials are available to academics and professional researchers. Together, these collections form the cornerstone of worldwide scholarship on Maggie Walker's contribution to civil rights, while providing intimate revelations of her private life.
The artifact collection consists of both personal items once owned by the Walker family and professional items donated by former Walker colleagues, including the management of the Independent Order of St. Luke.
Browse the complete artifact database.
The park's archival holdings currently include two collections totaling more than 80 linear feet. The Maggie L. Walker Family Papers collection is comprised of the documents and photos originally kept by Mrs. Walker and her family members. These documents include Maggie Walker's correspondence, public addresses, personal finance records, diaries, and business records.
The Right Worthy Grand Council, Independent Order of St. Luke Records collection contains detailed business records from the national headquarters of the Independent Order of St. Luke.
Access to the Collections
Access to the museum collections is available Monday through Friday, 9:30 am-4:30 pm. Due to limited space and the need for adequate preparation time, research is by appointment only. To ensure the protection of the collections, all research must be done on-site in the research room in accordance with National Park Service guidelines.
Researchers are encouraged to complete their preliminary research at archives and libraries with a broader topical focus before approaching the holdings of the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site archive. A good starting point is the excellent Walker biography, A Right Worthy Grand Mission: Maggie Lena Walker and the Quest for Black Economic Empowerment by Gertrude Woodruff Marlowe (Howard University Press, 2003). In addition, be sure to visit our online resources.
Make an Appointment
To make a research appointment, please contact the curator, Ethan Bullard.