Welcome to the BMRC Color Curtain Processing Project

In 2009, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) awarded a twenty-eight month “Hidden Collections” grant  to the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) for our "Color Curtain" Processing Project: Unveiling the Archives of Chicago's Black Metropolis.”  This award enabled the BMRC to process 135 collections of primary source materials related to African American History, create EAD finding aids, and formally introduce undergraduate students to the archival profession.  Through this award, the BMRC expanded intellectual control and arrangement of the unprocessed collections discovered during the BMRC's Andrew W. Mellon funded BMRC Survey Initiative.

The project moved beyond surveying by arranging and cataloging primary resources related to Chicago’s African American heritage.  The processing work also met a further objective by acting as a recruitment tool for the archival profession. Undergraduate students seeking careers in history and archival science gained experience working in special collections repositories while processing African American related collections.

The BMRC extends its gratitude to CLIR for granting us this award, which significantly advanced the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture.