Welcome to the Bronzeville Historical Society

By Angelique Schuler, Graduate Student Processor

The Bronzeville Historical Society (BHS) was started in 1999 by Sherry Williams and is currently located at the Stephan Douglas Tomb on 35th Street and east of Cottage Grove. Sherry Williams is a prominent member of the community and started the organization to preserve the social and cultural memories of the community. Over the years Sherry began collecting items from the community and as her collection grew so did her mission to start the BHS.

I began working at the Bronzeville Historical Society on May 20, 2013. I did not know what to expect upon my arrival. At the time the BHS was in transition from the Pullman Site to the Douglas Tomb and many of the items were quickly moved and put into storage in the back room of the facility. My first thought was that six weeks would not be enough time to organize the collection but within a week the back room was clear and the processing was underway. It was amazing to me to see the change after only six weeks of work.

In my six weeks, I processed 8 collections:

·       William Earl Washington Collection,

·       Ruby Banks Diplomas,

·       Sherry Williams Collection,

·       Civil Rights Serial Collection,

·       LP Collection,

·       VHS Video Collection,

·       Unidentified Artifact Collection, and

·       Unidentified Photograph Collection

I was able to transform the archival items from their temporary storage containers into sound archival boxes and folders. The facility is using temporary shelves but each collection has a designated space and is appropriately identified. I think that many of my colleagues would agree that we would love to devote more time into every collection but for now I am grateful that progress was made and my hope is that the facility continues to grow and expand.

*** Note *** The Bronzeville Historical Society is open to the public Wednesdays – Sundays from 9:00am till 5:00pm. Collections may be viewed with the permission and supervision of Sherry Williams. Please visit!!