About the Archives
Mrs. Inez Moore Parker, an English professor, and Mr. Henry B. Blue established a Black Cultural Center on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University in the summer of 1975. The purpose of the Black Cultural Center was to expose Johnson C. Smith University’s students, faculty, and staff to works by and about African Americans.

Mrs. Parker also became interested in recording the history of Johnson C. Smith University. She began her research by seeking documents and photographs covering the history of the university. Through her research, Mrs. Parker discovered that the university’s records created prior to 1900 had been destroyed in several fires. She successfully attempted to obtain materials for the collection by contacting people associated with the university, such as trustees and staff members. Mrs. Parker used the materials she collected to write a book, The Biddle-Johnson C. Smith University Story, which was published in 1975.

Mrs. Parker’s second book, The Rise and Decline of the Program of Education for Black Presbyterians by the Presbyterian Church, USA, added new materials to the collection on the Presbyterian Church, Parochial Schools, and the Black Presbyterians.  On November 4, 1977, the Inez Moore Parker Archives and Research Center was dedicated in honor of Mrs. Parker’s work to preserve the history of the African American experience and the history of the university. This day marked the official establishment of an archives for the specific purpose of organizing and preserving the historical records and materials of Johnson C. Smith University.

Today, the archives contains manuscripts, journals, scrapbooks, photographs, clippings, and artifacts.  The collection includes a tea set dated 1859 that belonged to Dr. Stephen Mattoon, the first President of Johnson C. Smith University, a chair built for President William Howard Taft when he visited the university in 1909, and a 1923 Biddle University Varsity Sweater.

The archives also has a Black Heritage Room with a small collection of rare books, autographed books, manuscripts, and books written by and about Africans and African Americans.

Archives Highlights:

    President Mattoon's Silver Tea Set - 1859

    Africo-American Presbyterian” publication. Published and edited by JCSU’s first African American president, Dr. Daniel Jackson Sanders. - 1889, 1907

    Speeches and documents written by Dr. Henry Lawrence McCrorey - 1907 to 1940.

    The Argus, first student newspaper - 1908

    U.S. President William H. Taft's chair built by faculty for his campus visit  - 1909

    Biddle University varsity sweater - 1923

    First Bull Annual (Yearbook) - 1928

    Alumni and Faculty publications: Plays and choral readings by Darius
Leander Swann -  1953-1963;  “The Bible and the Human Quest” by Dr.
Algernon O. Steele - 1956; “The Negro in New York” by Dr. James E. Allen - 1964

The archives is heavily used by researchers, faculty, students, and alumni throughout North Carolina and across the U.S.


The Inez Moore Parker Archives and Research Center preserves, selects, and makes accessible vital information pertaining to the University’s history, administrative operations, and the Black experience. The archives is a place where the preservation of materials are kept for administrative and researchers use.

Arrangement of the Archives

The Archives is arranged according to the history of Johnson C. Smith University, the Board of Trustees, the University’s Administrative Offices, Johnson C. Smith University’s Publications, the Alumni Association, Special Collections, Manuscripts, and the Photograph Collection.

See Record Group Collection


The Inez Moore Parker Archives and Research Center places primary emphasis on:

  • Selecting only those records that best document the University’s history, administration, faculty, staff, and students.
  • Collecting and preserving historical records, which document the Black experiences in the Charlotte, NC region.
  • Seeking to cooperate with other repositories, individuals, and organizations that create important records in order to promote the identification and preservation of records for understanding the University’s history and the Black experience.
  • Obtaining manuscripts and books documenting the Black experience.

Some archival materials are restricted.

Hours of operation

Monday - Friday  9am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm


The archives is located on the 2nd floor of the James B. Duke Memorial Library.

Requests for research

Researchers are asked to first complete a User Registration Form. Your registration will help us to protect the historical materials and will enable us to evaluate the usefulness of the University's holdings. 

If you are requesting photo duplication of archives materials then you must also complete a Photo Duplication Request Form.  


The Inez Moore Parker Archives and Research Center is open without a fee to students, faculty and staff of the University and members of the public, for non-circulating use only. Materials are to remain in the archives research center at all times. Requests for materials are accepted between 9am and 2pm, Monday through Friday.


Present Collecting Level: We accept donations as it pertains to the principles of what the University will collect for its repository.  A gift agreement must be signed before materials can be added.

Present Limitations: Documentation on student life at Johnson C. Smith University is very weak. More information on how the University affected the lifestyle in the Charlotte community and its major involvement in the civil rights movement and other movements is needed.  Biographical information on the early founders, benefactors and presidents of the University is rare and needs more documentation for researchers use. We received the most inquires regarding the above categories.  The Black Heritage Room needs more rare books, manuscripts and other documentations as it pertains to Africans and African Americans history, culture and social issues.

Desired Level of Collecting: The archives wishes to receive more information on the black community in Charlotte and surrounding areas before or after the civil war. Pictures, oral documentations, letters and memorabilia are needed. Information on the early black publications, organizations, social groups, schools and black businesses in the Charlotte community and surrounding areas would add nicely to the Black heritage collection. In the future we hope to add more materials on African history and culture.

The archives will not accept materials/donations without the legal transfer of title, deed of gift, or other official acknowledgement. Please complete the Gift Form which should accompany any materials when making a donation.

Loans: The archives offer materials for non-circulating use only. Materials can be copied, duplicated or transfer via electronically if feasible and if no damage is imposed upon the materials.


Contact Information

Our mailing address:

Inez Moore Parker Archives and Research Center

James B. Duke Memorial Library

Johnson C. Smith University

100 Beatties Ford Road

Charlotte, NC 28216

Telephone: (704)371-6741

Fax: (704)378-3524


Brandon Lunsford

Archival Services Librarian


James B. Duke Memorial Library    100 Beatties Ford Road    Charlotte, NC 28216    704-371-6731



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