Something New for Something Old: Innovative Approaches to Managing Archives and Special Collections

December 4-5, 2008 at the Union League of Philadelphia



Overview and Updates

Schedule and Speakers


Information for Attendees


Jacqueline Goldsby
University of Chicago

photographer: Dan Dry

Biographical Statement

Jacqueline Goldsby is Associate Professor of English at the University of Chicago, where she teaches courses in late-19th century to mid-20th-century African American and American literature.

Her first book, A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature (University of Chicago Press, 2006), won the Modern Language Association's William S. Scarborough Prize in 2007 and was the finalist for the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero First Book Prize in 2007 as well. Currently, she is compiling a critical edition of James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, which W.W. Norton & Company will publish in Fall 2009. Research for her second monograph, Birth of the Cool: African American Literary Culture of the 1940s and 1950s, is underway. This work will examine the tensions generated by the aesthetic cosmopolitanism of African American literature and visual arts during the post-World War II/pre-Civil Rights Movement era and its highly acclaimed reception in the age of Jim Crow segregation.

As an extension of this research, Professor Goldsby directs "Mapping the Stacks: A Guide to Black Chicago’s Hidden Archives" ( Working in collaboration with the University of Chicago Library's Special Collections Research Center, whose archivists provide instructional training to the project's staff of eight Ph.D. students, Professor Goldsby and her team have combed the city to identify key collections that chronicle the literary, visual, and cultural histories of Black Chicago between the 1930s and 1970s. The finding aids written by the students are available to researchers and the general public at these repositories and via the project’s website. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (as part of the University Library’s UNCAP/"Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project") Mapping the Stacks' work has been underway since 2006 and will continue through to December 2009.

member of Processing panel

Project Description

Based out of the University of Chicago since Fall 2003, Mapping the Stacks (MTS) is a faculty-led initiative by Associate Professor Jacqueline Goldsby of the Department of English. With a team of eight Ph.D. students—and working in collaboration with the University of Chicago Library, whose archivists provide instructional training to MTS staff—Professor Goldsby has searched the city's archives to identify key collections that chronicle the literary, visual, and cultural histories of Black Chicago between the 1930s and 1970s. Unearthing manuscript, photograph, and moving image holdings at the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American Literature and History (a unit of the Chicago Public Library), the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Chicago Defender newspaper, and the South Side Community Arts Center, MTS arranges and describes these artifacts, and publishes finding aid guides to these collections for the public's use.


Project website

Article from the University of Chicago Chronicle



Last updated October 30, 2008 Questions may be directed to Laura Blanchard,