The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded CRF Libraries a grant to create best practices for working with data and materials from marginalized communities, with the goal of providing access to Black Miami history.

The planning grant, Enhancing Access and Research Possibilities through Critical Engagement with Historical Data, is part of NEH’s Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program.

The grant will help improve access to the papers of Dana A. Dorsey, a successful businessman known as Miami’s first black millionaire. At the end of the project, the implemented data collection methodologies and access strategies will be analyzed and shared in a white paper to help establish best practices in the field. The document will include plans for potential partnerships and identify additional resources, collections, organizations and individuals to help expand the work.

“This is the most significant research in Miami’s black history in decades and our first deep dive into building black wealth in Miami,” said Marvin Dunnprofessor emeritus and author.

Dunn donated the Dana A. Dorsey Papers to Special collections and university archives to the FIU in 1999. They consist of warranty deeds, mortgages, legal documents and correspondence, which detail the properties and locations of newly created subdivisions in Miami from approximately 1900 to 1940. These documents have a significant research and educational value as they frame the growth of the then highly segregated Miami metropolitan area.

“This grant from NEH recognizes CRF Libraries’ commitment to building and enhancing our collections in an inclusive manner,” said Anne Prestamo, Dean of CRF Libraries. “By creating resources that fully tell the stories of those who have faced racism, legal restrictions and other barriers to success, we hope to empower others to engage in new data-driven research. .”

CRF Libraries, in partnership with the CRF Department of History, will produce data resources derived from Dorsey’s papers to aid in historical analysis and mapping of marginalized communities. The collection will include searchable transcripts, historical tabular data derived from the articles, and maps that will be available online through the CRF Digital Library.