Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:National Center of Afro–American Artists
Title:National Center of Afro–American Artists records
Reference Code:M42
Location Code:69/1–4, FF4/D5–6
Extent:25.50 cubic ft. (37 boxes and flat–files)
Scope and Content Abstract:The collection spans 1924–1998 and documents the founding, administration, financial operations, and personnel of the Center; the Center's active involvement in the African American and arts communities.
Historical Abstract:The National Center of Afro–American Artists was founded by Elma Ina Lewis in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1968. The Center's founding was a response to concerns over a lack of a comprehensive, national institutional center for African American artists.
Language and Scripts:
System of Arrangement:Organized into 6 series: 1. Administration; 2. Financial and Fund Raising; 3. Continuing Programs; 4. Events; 5. Public Relations; and 6. Information Files.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Lewis, Elma.

  • Elma Lewis School for the Fine Arts.
  • Museum of the National Center of African American Artists.
  • National Center of African American Artists.

  • African American arts –– Massachusetts –– Boston.
  • African American artists –– Massachusetts –– Boston.
  • African American dance –– Massachusetts –– Boston.
  • African American theater –– Massachusetts –– Boston.
  • African Americans –– Education –– Massachusetts –– Boston.
  • Art centers –– Massachusetts –– Boston.
  • Art –– Study and teaching –– Massachusetts –– Boston.
  • Artists and museums –– Massachusetts –– Boston.
  • Centers for the performing arts –– Massachusetts –– Boston.

Conditions Governing Access:The collection is unrestricted.
Related Archival Materials:

Elma Ina Lewis papers (M38), Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts (M43), Museum of the National Center of Afro–American Artists (M44)

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the National Center of Afro American Artists, which is accessible at:*/

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Michelle Maing, Processing of this collection was funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission., August 1999