Huron Researchers Awarded Grant to Help Establish Black History Exhibit
Huron’s Dr. Nina Reid-Maroney and Dr. Scott Schofield in collaboration with Dr. Deirdre McCorkindale, University of Guelph, and The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society’s Black Mecca Museum have been awarded an SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant to highlight the literary and intellectual history of Chatham’s Black community.
The project, “Freedom in Print: Books and Antislavery History at the Chatham-Kent Black Mecca Museum” examines the rich archive of rare books and other print material that was written by Chatham-based Black abolitionists in the 19th century, and that is now part of the special collections at Western University, the University of Guelph, and Oberlin College.
The project treats antislavery books and other printed works as material artefacts of the nineteenth century's greatest struggle for human freedom. Partnered with faculty and student researchers at Huron University College and the University of Guelph, the Black Mecca Museum will create a database of Chatham-connected abolitionist texts, including information about their provenance, annotations, binding, illustrations, and printing history of select editions and copies of texts. By reconnecting books with the historical communities and context in which they were written, published, and read, the project will showcase new research about the vibrant history of Chatham's Black activists and their white allies.
Funding from SSHRC will support summer student research fellowships and a new digital and in-person exhibit highlighting the project’s findings. A public launch is planned for October 12, 2023 in Chatham, commemorating the 200th birthday of Mary Ann Shadd, who published the Provincial Freeman in Chatham in the 1850s.
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports research and training in the humanities and social sciences.
Nina Reid-Maroney (Professor of History, Huron University)