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February 17, 2011

Archives housing papers of 4 local black leaders

The University Library System (ULS) has announced new collections of the personal papers of four African-American men from western Pennsylvania who made important contributions to U.S. history:

• Frank Bolden (1914-2003), world-renowned war correspondent for The Pittsburgh Courier newspaper;

• K. Leroy Irvis (1919-2006), Pennsylvania legislative leader, who in 1977 became the first African-American to be elected speaker of a state house since Reconstruction;

• Percival L. Prattis (1895-1980), journalist with The Pittsburgh Courier and the first black reporter to gain access to the U.S. House and Senate press galleries, and

• Tim Stevens (1945-   ), past president of the Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP.

The four collections, which were organized and catalogued by Pitt graduate students under the supervision of archivist Wendy Pflug, represent almost 200 linear feet of biographical information, correspondence, subject files, scrapbooks, images, newspaper clippings and other materials.

The collections are housed at Pitt’s Archives Service Center, 7500 Thomas Blvd., Point Breeze. Researchers wanting to view a collection are asked to call ahead at 412/244-7091 so an archivist is available to assist.

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