New digital archive explores the Black experience at Pitt


The University unveiled a digital archive designed to catalogue the past and present experiences of Pitt’s Black students, staff and faculty at the “Blue, Gold, & Black: Reflections Of The Black Pitt Experience Through The Years” event on Feb. 21.

The Blue, Gold and Black digital archive has been in the works for a year and is the result of a collaboration from the University Library System, the Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Black Action Society, the African American Alumni Council, and the Equipoise staff affinity group.

So far, it contains roughly 50 images from the University archives, and the Pitt community is encouraged to continue to add more images that capture and represent the experience of being a Black member of the Pitt community.

What sets this virtual gallery apart from others is the fact that it was designed to be an ongoing effort to gather and preserve these experiences, said Ed Galloway, associate librarian for Archives & Special Collections.

“The site relies on content that you provide,” Galloway said. “That is why this is so powerful and compelling — it allows you to tell your stories or share your memories of the Black experience at Pitt. So as more and more content is added, it will then allow the Pitt Community to create exhibits or focus collections based on the material uploaded to the site.”

The goal for the site, Galloway said, is for it to be more interactive once users contribute more content — giving contributors the ability to leave comments or upload videos and other forms of content once users contribute more content.

Users also have the option to tag their contributions by subject to make the content easier to comb through.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said the unveiling of the archive is timely and important. The archive plays a key role in documenting history for future generations, he added.

“This is a rich and growing resource for anyone interested in learning about studying, documenting, preserving and sharing the Black experience in Pitt,” Gallagher said. “Going forward, it will play an important role in our shared memory, in our in our capacity to story tell about our journey, including both the struggles and triumphs and our story as individuals, as an institution and as a society.”

To view the rest of the event, visit the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s YouTube channel.

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at or 412-383-9905.


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