Membership & Benefits

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.


 Content Editor



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