Skip to Main Content

Course & Subject Guides

African-American History and Culture in Pittsburgh @ Archives & Special Collections: Performing Arts Media

The University Library System's Archives and Special Collections contains many collections that detail African-American history and culture in Pittsburgh.

The Legacy Media of Pittsburgh’s Black Arts Movement Performance Organizations: Project Summary

The University of Pittsburgh Library System received funds from the Council on Library and Information Resources to preserve and provide access to Pittsburgh’s Black Arts Movement organizations’ legacy media within two Pittsburgh African American performing arts collections. These collections, the Bob Johnson Papers and the Kuntu Repertory Theatre Collection, contain various formats of audio-visual media that were not available to researchers. These materials are significant because there are limited collections that feature notable African American scholar-practitioners in drama and dance and document Pittsburgh's African cultural legacy and its impact nationally. These recorded performances represent an important contribution to the national memory of the Black Arts Movement (BAM) and subsequent movements for community self determination that were inspired by the BAM and local black-led arts institutions. The funding supported contracting with a vendor to digitize the obsolete and at-risk legacy media into formats following digital preservation best practices.

Council on Library and Information Resources

This project was supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. To learn more, visit and follow CLIR on Facebook and Twitter.

Ask an Archivist

Ask an Archivist