The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Irma McClaurin Wins Grant for Development of Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive, Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries

Archival photo of Black women. Text: "Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive. Special Collections & University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries."

Irma McClaurin, PhD G’93, MFA G’73 was recently awarded a $15,000 Historical Archives Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc. The funds are for the development of the Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive in Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive (BFA) was established in 2016, when Dr. McClaurin was recognized as a University of Massachusetts Amherst “Distinguished Alumni.” A former UMass Amherst employee, McClaurin worked in Transfer Admissions and as Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1977-1991.  

The BFA is interdisciplinary and already includes the collections of several important activists and scholars, such as Black feminist anthropologist Carolyn Martin Shaw and the late Lawrence Paros ’55, an Alternative Education advocate and educator. The grant will cover expenses associated with transporting materials and preparing them to be deposited in the Archive.

The Black Feminist Archive will be part of SCUA's efforts to document social change and will join its actively used collections that include the papers of W. E. B. Du Bois, for whom UMass Amherst’s main library building is named, Horace Mann Bond, Daniel Ellsberg, Judi Chamberlin, and Brother David Steindl-Rast.

The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc. Historical Archives Program “promotes the preservation of the history of anthropology by assisting senior scholars (or their heirs) with the expense of preparing their personal research collections for archival deposit.”