The Morrill Acts and HBCU’s: Libraries and Literacy


Sunday, August 13, 2023
4 p.m.
Strafford Town House

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A presentation by Julius C. Jefferson

Commemorating the 140th anniversary of Justin Morrill’s gift of a library to Strafford

This presentation will address the 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant legislation introduced by Justin Morrill. Morrill advocated for federal funding to provide public colleges and universities in the United States. However, when President Lincoln signed the 1862 Land-Grant Act, African Americans were yet to be included as humans and full citizens.

The second Morrill Land-Grant Act in 1890 provided the creation of institutions that would support state education for African Americans. The result of the 1890 Morrill Act is 19 Land-Grant Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that have been the bedrock to building educated, sustainable rural Black communities.

At the center of these HBCUs were dedicated libraries and librarians; known as culture keepers, who preserved African American culture and traditions and provided access to information to support a research agenda.

This presentation will focus on the role libraries and librarians had in developing and sustaining HBCUs’ Land-Grant colleges.

Additional information

In person or via Zoom

In person, via Zoom