Broward County African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) is proud to announce its yearlong commemoration of 20 years of collecting, preserving, and sharing local, national, and international Black history and culture. Throughout 2022, AARLCC will host a slate of exciting programs and events for our Vicennial of Black Excellence.
On February 11, AARLCC kicks off the Vicennial of Black Excellence during Black History Month, hosting a Re-dedication Celebration connecting our supporters back to the purpose, vision, and mission that compelled them to wholeheartedly support the creation of AARLCC 20 years ago. This event will inspire the next generation of supporters who will ensure the legacy of AARLCC continues for more years to come!
Included in the Re-dedication Celebration is the grand opening of our new exhibit Collectors’ Duet: The Lifelong Librarianship of Vivian D. Hewitt and Dorothy Porter Wesley Exhibition. Highlighting the careers of extraordinary librarians who changed the profession of librarianship, this exhibit provides a glimpse into the lives of two prominent librarians who were also avid collectors.
Dorothy Porter Wesley, librarian, bibliographer, scholar, historian, and archivist, was for 43 years (1930-1973) the curator of the Moorland-Spingarn Collection at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Under her guidance, a small special collection grew into a world-renowned research library comprised of content about people of African descent. The Dorothy Porter Wesley Collection at AARLCC includes first edition and rare books along with writings by Dorothy Porter Wesley.
Vivian Davidson Hewitt, librarian, scholar, and art collector, was the first African American librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and president of the Special Libraries Association. Vivian and her husband, Professor John H. Hewitt, amassed a large art collection highlighting the African diaspora. The John H. and Vivian Hewitt Collection, contains art by Haitian artists, along with correspondence, and art memorabilia.
Collectors’ Duet: The Lifelong Librarianship of Vivian D. Hewitt and Dorothy Porter Wesley Exhibition is free and open to the public on Monday & Wednesday 11 am-7 pm and Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10 am-6 pm (closed Sundays).
For additional information on the exhibition, call 954-357-6282.
The exhibition is presented by the Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) supported by Cigna and the Friends of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center.
About the African American Research Library and Cultural Center
The Broward County African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) is located in the Sistrunk community, one of the oldest historically Black communities named for one of Fort Lauderdale’s first Black physicians. Opening to the public on October 26, 2002, AARLCC became the third public library of its kind in the United States dedicated to the study of Black history and culture. The 60,000 square-foot Center serves as a repository of materials related to the local, national, and international voices of the African diaspora with more than 85,000 books, manuscripts, artifacts, framed art, print, photography, audiovisual, and documents held in our Adult Services Section and Special Collections. The Youth Services Section features a special collection of Coretta Scott King Award books and the Ashley Bryan Art Collection from illustrators of African Descent. AARLCC also features a 5,000 sq. ft. museum, a 300-seat state-of-the-art theatre, and a Computer Training Center.
Room capacity is limited to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines. Indoor, in-person programs will be contingent on the Centers for Disease Control benchmark and guidance for low COVID-19 infection rates. High rates of infection will necessitate the cancellation of indoor, in-person programs. In the event indoor, in-person programs are canceled, there are many online programs available at https://www.youtube.com/browardcountylibrary