Oakland, CA – The Oakland Public Library (OPL) was awarded a $50,000 grant through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced Thursday.
This award will allow OPL to engage a preservation architect to develop a design plan for repairs and improvements to the African American Museum and Library at Oakland’s (AAMLO) aging facility to protect the significant collection of documents related to Black history in California and the West.
“We are pleased to be awarded a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation,” said AAMLO Chief Curator Bamidele Agbasegbe Demerson. “Indeed, this supportive funding is a profound vote of confidence in the work we do every day of discovering, preserving, interpreting, and sharing the experiences – historical, cultural, and aesthetic – of Black communities in the Bay Area and Northern California.”
AAMLO is housed in the former Charles S. Greene Library, a historic 1902 Carnegie building. It is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the State Historic Resource Inventory, as well as designated an Oakland City Landmark.
The improvements and upgrades will strengthen AAMLO’s reputation as a destination for scholars, community groups, families, and tourists from across the country.
AAMLO is one of 40 historical sites and organizations across the country that received $3 million from the National Trust.
The African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO), a branch of the Oakland Public Library, is dedicated to the discovery, preservation, interpretation and sharing of historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West for present and future generations. The archives include over 160 collections documenting prominent families, pioneers, churches, social and political organizations. AAMLO has a unique non-circulating reference library for researchers, students and anyone interested in African American history, in addition to a second-floor museum that regularly hosts traveling and original exhibitions exploring the art, history and culture of African Americans. Highlights of AAMLO's collections include the Ronald V. Dellums Congressional Papers, the Oakland Post Photograph Collection documenting African American politicians, entertainers, athletes and community leaders from the Bay Area during the 1960s, '70s, and ‘80s, studio portraits of Oaklanders by the photographer E.F. Joseph, and the papers of Oakland cartoonist and illustrator Morrie Turner. Located at 659 14th St., AAMLO is housed in the former Charles S. Greene Library, a historic 1902 Carnegie building.
The Oakland Public Library is a part of the City of Oakland in California and has been in existence since 1878. Locations include 16 neighborhood branches, a Main Library, a Second Start Adult Literacy Program, the Oakland Tool Lending Library, and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO). The Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow.