The Hampton University Archives participated in all three rounds of the HBCU Preservation Projects and focused much of their work on materials that document the
history of Hampton and the Roscoe Lewis Collection of slave narratives. The
Archives has created a collections
research portal that provides access to some project materials.
1878-1923 was the “Indian Affairs Period” of The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, when 1,660 Native Americans from more than 65 tribes were sent to Hampton as students in an experiment to introduce them to mainstream American society. The Hampton Archives holds a collection of more than 5,000 photographs and negatives that document this period.
As part of a Federal Writers' Project initiative in the
1930s, Roscoe E. Lewis, a Hampton Institute chemistry professor, headed a
team of 13 Black writers that interviewed former slaves and recorded their
accounts of life before and after emancipation. Lewis was unable to accomplish
his wish to publish the transcripts in their entirety before he died in 1961. The Hampton Archives holds some of the
original documents as well as 15 reel-to-reel films and audio tapes in the
Roscoe Lewis Collection. Eight of these reels of silent film were reformatted
as part of Round 3 of the project. Some of these films are now available to researchers on the Hampton collections research portal.
Unidentified school scenes from the Roscoe Lewis Collection, n.d.
Native American Sioux, Gros Ventre, Arikara, and Mandan upon arrival at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, 1878