Morgan Receives $250,000 IMLS Grant to Support Library Special Collections Research

Morgan State University receives nearly $250,000 grant to support pioneering black anthropologist Ellen Irene Diggs’ research

Personal papers of defunct Morgan faculty provide humanities education and career experience for students

BALTIMORE – The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded Morgan State University (MSU) a one-year grant of $248,551 to implement a comprehensive interpretive project titled “Ellen Irene Diggs: Creating pathways for young pioneers”. Based on the personal papers of Ellen Irene Diggs, Ph.D., a pioneering African-American scholar, researcher, and former Morgan faculty member, the project chronicles her distinguished career, empowering a new generation of students of the MSU to benefit from his life’s work. The collection is currently housed in the Beulah M. Davis Special Collections at the Earl S. Richardson Library: Davis Room.

With the nearly $250,000 grant, Morgan will fund an internship program for more than 40 MSU undergraduate and graduate students and volunteers who will engage in archival research, preservation, and anthropology. Project activities will include improving public access to the Diggs Collection, through an online exhibit, student posters and panels that will be part of the American Anthropological Association’s 120th Annual Meeting, in Baltimore, Maryland, November 17-21, 2021. Additionally, a professional development program funded by the IMLS grant and implemented by the Richardson Library, Morgan’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, School of Education and Urban Studies from MSU and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture, will include workshops and educational materials for Morgan students. The program will also benefit more than 400 K-12 students in Baltimore during the grant project, providing 90 teachers with enhanced humanities and social studies programs.

“Our intention is to really cultivate undergraduate and graduate students’ interest in archival materials as well as anthropology and research, and to have students see how academic courses can be applied to jobs and, in particular, careers,” said MSU archivist Ida Jones. , Ph.D., director of the project, which is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary effort.


Morgan State students pictured studying at the Earl S. Richardson Library. (Photo courtesy of Morgan State University Office)

Morgan State University Archivist Ida Jones, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Morgan State University Office)

File photograph of Ellen Irene Diggs, Ph.D. (left). (Photo courtesy of Morgan State University Office)

Archive image of personal correspondence of Dr. Ellen Irene Diggs (Photo courtesy of Morgan State University Office)

File photo of a reference letter from WEB Du Bois for Dr. Ellen Irene Diggs. (Photo courtesy of Morgan State University Office)

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