An NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop hosted by the Spencer Museum of Art

Deborah Dandridge, MA

Archivist and Curator of the African American Experience Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library
Librarian, Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library
Primary office:


Deborah Dandridge is the Archivist of the African American Experience Collection at KU’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library (KSRL). For our workshops, she will guide our efforts to understand the historical roots and contemporary ramifications of school segregation. Ms. Dandridge will offer an interactive presentation about the educational experiences of African American students and families in Kansas, drawing from the rich primary source materials she curates at the KSRL and her own memories of attending Washington School, an all-Black elementary school in Topeka, Kansas. She will also moderate two discussion sessions: one with Sumner High School alumni that will allow us an opportunity to hear the firsthand experiences of students attending a voluntarily segregated high school and another at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site that will provide a venue for us to share with one another our own understandings of this landmark court case and the effects it has had on education.

In her role as the Archivist of the African American Experience Collection and Librarian of the Kansas Collection at the KSRL, Ms. Dandridge solicits donations of written materials and photographs from local African American communities. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research, the Kansas African American Affairs Commission, and the Society of American Archivists. Dandridge is involved in an ongoing project to document the life experiences of the region’s African American professional healthcare providers and World War II veterans through oral histories. In addition, she serves as a reference archivist for Spencer Research Library, a research specialist in African American Studies for KU Libraries, and a member of the courtesy faculty for KU’s African and African American Studies Department.  In 2008, she received the Gretchen and Gene A. Budig Distinguished Librarian Award.



ABD, University of Kansas
MA, Atlanta University
BA, Washburn University

Dates of Workshop Sessions

Session I: June 18-24, 2017 

Session II: July 9-15, 2017

Contact Information

Cassandra Mesick Braun, Project Co-Director: | 785-864-6794

Celka StraughnProject Co-Director: | 785-864-0136

Sydney PurselProject Intern: | 785-864-5253

The University of Kansas
Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Mississippi Street
Lawrence, KS 66045  | 785-864-4710

Spencer Museum of Art University of Kansas

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
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