Preliminary Guide to the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center Records

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Oregon State University. Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center.
Title: Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center Records
Dates: 1966-2011 ( inclusive )
1990-2010 ( bulk )
Quantity: 2 cubic feet, including 1,600 photographs (3 boxes, including 1 oversize box, and 1 map folder)
Collection Number: RG 244
Summary: The Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center Records document activities and events sponsored by the Center, Oregon State University students and staff affiliated with the Center, and the campus environment for African-American students at Oregon State since the 1960s. The Black Cultural Center was established at Oregon State University in 1975.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Contact Information: Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
Languages: Materials in English. 

Historical Note

In 1975, the Black Student Union (BSU) received funding from the Oregon State University student government, the Alumni Center, and the local community to open the BSU Cultural Center. The center's name changed in 1981 to the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center (BCC), in honor of the first director of OSU's Educational Opportunities Program. The mission of the Lonnie B. Harris BCC is to complement the academic program of studies and enrich the quality of campus life for African and African-American students at OSU.

Content Description

The Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center Records document activities and events organized by the center such as staff retreats, Kwanzaa celebrations, Soul Food Day, annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations, open house receptions, bowling parties, Black History Month Dinners, and lectures by visiting scholars. The collection includes guest books, newsletters, newspaper clippings, photographs, posters, signs, and a scrapbook. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs.

The photographs include about 1100 prints and 500 negatives (primarily color) and depict events and programs at the Center as well as students and staff affiliated with the Center in portrait images and groups photographs. Photographs of displays and exhibits as well as the Center building are included. Digital photographs of Center activities, including a tour of the Center by elementary school children, are stored on three compact discs (CDs) that are part of the collection.

The scrapbook consists primarily of newspaper clippings and copies of clippings documenting Center activities as well as the history of the Center and the 1969 Black Student Union walkout. In addition to OSU-related materials, some of the newspaper clippings pertain to Corvallis City Manager Gerald Seals.

Digitized versions of 4 photograph albums are available online. The albums are for the years 1992-1997 (Album 1), 1997-2001 (Album 2), 2001-2003 (Album 3), and 2003-2004 (Album 4). They include images of open houses at the Center; annual events such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrations, Kwanzaa, and Black History Month; retreats; the 1996 boycott; Jesse Jackson's visit to Oregon State in 1992; fashion shows; the dedication of Carrie Halsell Hall; and students and staff affiliated with the Center. The original albums have been retained by the Center.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center Records (RG 244), Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Processing Note :  

This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Acquisition Information :  

The materials were transferred from the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center in 2011.

Future Additions :  

Additions to the collection are expected.

Related Materials :  

Special Collections & Archives Research Center's collections include the records of the Diversity Development Office (RG 228) as well as the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center (RG 245) and the Pride Center (RG 236). The records of the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) (RG 230), Office of Multicultural Affairs (RG 225), and Minority Education Office (RG 229) also document services for non-traditional and minority students at OSU. All of these collections are components of the Oregon Multicultural Archives.


  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon State University. Diversity Development Office.
  • Oregon State University--Students.
  • Subject Terms :
  • African American college students--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • College environment--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Minority college students--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Student activities--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Corvallis (Or.)--Politics and government.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Compact discs.
  • Digital images.
  • Film negatives.
  • Photographic prints.
  • Scrapbooks.

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