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Digitizing Black Women's Records: Archivist Roundtable

October 11, 2023 • 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET

This  “meet and greet” discussion provides a collaborative space where our featured guests share their experiences expanding access to Black records through digitization and/or community engagement efforts. We are excited to find ways to celebrate these efforts while also thinking about how to amplify these and other collections and repositories that center 19th and early 20th century Black women’s voices and organizing.






Introductions – Breakout Rooms for “Small Group Meet-and Greet”

Digitization / Community Engagements Efforts  –
Featured Guests

(Facilitated Discussion – 30-40 mins)

General Discussion and Open Q & A 


Featured Guests

Dr. Lopez D. Matthews Jr. is the State Archivist and Public Records Administrator for the District of Columbia. In this capacity he serves as Historian of the District of Columbia, Chair of the D.C. Historical Records Advisory Board, and Director of the DC Office of Public Records and Archives. A native of Baltimore Maryland, he earned a BS in History from Coppin State University in 2004. He then earned a master’s degree in Public History and Archival Administration from Howard University in 2006 and a PhD in United States History from Howard University in 2009.

Currently, he is a member of the Council of State Archivists, and an Executive Council Member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He has published several articles and is the author of Howard University in the World Wars: Men and Women Serving the Nation. He is host of In Retrospect and Prospect where he interviews practitioners about African American history projects for ASALH TV. In 2020, he became a Senior Advisor to the US Truth, Healing and Transformation Leadership Group. In 2023, he was appointed the Secretary of the Interior to the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site Advisory Commission.

Jennifer Morris is the archivist at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, the first federally funded neighborhood museum located in Washington, D. C.  She primarily oversees archival processing, cataloguing, and reference services. Her interests are in the care and preservation of family papers, photographs, and cultural heritage archives which document the community-based activities of individuals and groups.   She earned a BA in Anthropology from the University of Maryland, College Park and a MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.  She received further archival training from the National Archives; George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film; and Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts. Jennifer is a member of several professional associations including the Society of American Archivists, and the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society.

Ken Grossi has served as the Oberlin College Archivist since 2008. From 1996-2008, he served as Assistant and Associate Archivist at Oberlin. He has been a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists since 2006. Prior to his time at Oberlin, Grossi was the Assistant University Archivist at The Ohio State University from 1987-1996.


Grossi holds a B.A. from the University of Akron, a M.A. in History and Archival Administration from Case Western Reserve University, and a M.L.S. from Kent State University.

As Oberlin College Archivist, Grossi welcomes people of all ages who come to explore the primary documents, photos, artifacts, and other materials in the collections at the College Archives. He works with the Oberlin College administration, faculty, students, staff, and alumni, as well as members of the Oberlin community, to preserve the rich history of Oberlin. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oberlin Heritage Center, and he works with the Heritage Center staff to help preserve and share the history of the town and college. 


Brandon Nightingale is the Senior Project Manager for the Black Press Archives Digitization Project at Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. In this role he leads a team at Howard University, digitizing the university’s historic black newspaper collection, which will give access to researchers across the world. Brandon received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in history from the University of Central Florida, recently obtained his master’s in library science from Florida State University, and next started the PhD history program at Howard University. 

Cary Hutto has a BA in history and an MA in museum studies. She has worked in the archives department of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania since 2006 and currently presides as department head. In this role, she oversees archival acquisitions, processing and accessibility, and data management.

Sean Smith (he/his) is a Senior Archivist in the Collections Development and Management Unit at the Archives of Ontario. He previously held positions at the Clara Thomas Archives at York University and Library and Archives Canada. In total, he has been preserving and sharing history for over 20 years. During the pandemic, he has been focussed on issues related to community development, GLAM Wiki and digital records. 

Summer Hamilton is the Assistant Research Professor of Digital Scholarship, and works primarily with the Center for Black Digital Research #digblk. She provides methodological and technical support for existing and future digital scholarship projects, most of which focus on recuperating and disseminating historically underrepresented archival material in online digital platforms.

Kevin Clair is the Digital Collections Librarian in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State University. In this role he manages digitized and born-digital archival materials, coordinates selection of digital content among curators, and promotes the use of digital collections for research and instruction. He has previously held digital collections curation positions at the University of Denver.

Archivist Roundtable Planning Committee
Lauren Barnes, chair
Morgan Robinson
Kendra Napier-Fonash
Yolanda Mackey, program coordinator (ad hoc)
Dr. Shirley Moody-Turner, faculty director and CBDR Co-Director


Event Communications and Website Management
Takina Walker
Kendra Napier-Fonash
Lauren Cooper, CBDR managing director (ad hoc)
Gabrielle Sutherland
Jennifer Issasi


BWOA coordination and Day of support
Dr. Sabrina Evans, program coordinator and satellite partner
Kesla Elmore
Carmin Wong