The University of Kansas Libraries are pleased to announce that Deborah Dandridge, African American Experience curator, is the 2020 recipient of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Information Professionals’ Dorothy Porter Wesley Award.
The Dorothy Porter Wesley Award, established by ASALH in 2018, serves to honor and memorialize the important work of information professionals — from archivists and librarians to collectors and bibliophiles. Awardees are recognized for their work in preserving African American history, aiming to document the past for future generations of scholars.
“Not only is it a great personal honor to receive this award, but it means a great deal because it acknowledges the key role that archival field work plays in developing local and regional African American historical research collections,” said Dandridge. “It also highlights the essential role that collective efforts play in the acquisition of these collections as donations. To me, this award is shared by many.”
Dandridge joined KU Libraries as a field archivist for a 1986-89 National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant that was awarded to Kenneth Spencer Research Library in support of its Kansas Collection. She has served as curator for the African American Experience Collection within the Kansas Collection for the last three decades. Dandridge is a longtime member of ASALH.
“Deborah’s long career of documenting the African American experience in Kansas — along with her programmatic outreach to the African American community in the region — exemplifies the dedication and commitment to history, collection development, scholarship and service that Dr. Dorothy Porter Wesley embodied,” said Beth Whittaker, associate dean and director of Kenneth Spencer Research Library.