Distinguished Service Award: Black Metropolis Research Consortium

The Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) is the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1964, the award recognizes an archives institution, education program, nonprofit organization, or governmental organization that has given outstanding service to its public and has made an exemplary contribution to the archival profession.

Founded in 2005, the BMRC is a consortium of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions in the Chicago area; its mission is to provide access to unprocessed or underprocessed African American collections housed in area repositories. The organization is now engaged in the Color Curtain processing project, an initiative to process more than 100 collections (10,000 linear feet of material). In addition, the BMRC will further its objective to recruit new archives professionals by hiring undergraduate students to assist in processing collections.

The Award Committee noted that the BMRC has provided “important contributions to archival theory and practice, fostered collaborative relationships between member institutions, and shown ingenuity in its service to the community.”