About the Ralph J. Bunche Library and Media Center

The Ralph J. Bunche Library and Media Center is located in Haines Hall room 135. Hours are Monday – Thursday 12 pm -5 pm. Special arrangements must be made to access archives or audio visual materials. Contact information is at the end of this section.

Campus activists established the Center for African American Studies (CAAS) Library in 1969 to provide specialized services to researchers studying African American history, culture and art. Faculty, staff and students donated their time and materials and built a rich collection of reference and information sources. Early donations from Marion Cobb and Mamie Clayton set the foundation for future holdings. Oscar L. Sims, a bibliographer at the Research Library was also an important figure in the early success of the library. He made sure the new library received copies of each African American studies book acquired for the main library.

Today, the library has a unique collection of books, journals, audio visual materials, and archives documenting African experiences in the diaspora. The library was renamed the Ralph J. Bunche Library and Media Center in 2002 to reflect the acquisition of computer stations, a big screen television, and individual viewing stations. The library currently has more than 8,000 monographs (books), an extensive subject file collection and it has more than tripled its archives holdings. Additionally, the library provides access to historical journals such as Crisis and Journal of Negro History. Newer serials such as Black Enterprise, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Callaloo are also available to researchers.

The Bunche Center Library is committed to to building a book and archival collection that will support research in African American Studies now and in the future. We solicit and accept holdings created by and/or for  activists, scholars, collectors, families, individuals, businesses, and groups that document African American experiences.

Bunche Center Mural (1970)

In 1970, then center director Arthur L. Smith (Molefi Asante) commissioned a 14-year-old Richard Wyatt, Jr. and his friend, Guillermo Anderson, to paint a mural representing black life and culture. The 7 by 9 foot mural was restored in 2010 and today hangs proudly outside of the Library and Media Center.

  • Hours

    Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 12pm-5pm

    Monday & Friday: Research Appointments Only (contact librarian)

    Closed: Weekends & Holidays