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WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries

Wayne State Archival Admin students to work with DPL to process Coleman A. Young Mayoral Papers

January 6th, 2013

Wayne State University students concentrating on a certificate in Archival Administration will be working with the Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation (DPLFF) to process the Coleman A. Young Mayoral Papers via a grant recently received by the DPLFF. The $87,400 grant was awarded by the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

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 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,” said Jo Anne D. Mondowney, DPL executive director.

“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.