Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania
Minorities at Penn

Prepared by Melanie Xu, Summer Research Fellow and University of Pennsylvania undergraduate
July 2017

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

Historical Facts of the Black Veterinarian, UPP 15.97

This book is dedicated to the history of black veterinarians, both at Penn and other institutions. It contains an article on pioneer black vets at Penn, as well as a list of the charter members of the Revolving Emergency Fund (a club of black vets, established by the author of this document, William H. Waddell).


Report of the Task Force on Black Presence
Almanac (Mar. 21, 1978), UPL 1090.35
June 9, 1977

The Task Force on Black Presence wrote this report discussing the progress of the university in strengthening the presence and improving the experiences of black students and faculty. This report is divided into the following headings – Affirmative Action, Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions, Report of the Subcommittee on Curriculum, and Improving University Life for Black Students, Faculty, and Administrators.


Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture Records, UPB 160

This collection contains documents pertaining to the center's history, including information on Afro-American studies coursework, center correspondence, minority presence development, journal articles, news articles, and more.


African American Studies Records, UPB 1.9AF

This box contains publications by the African American studies department, including poems, essays, and scholarly paper anthologies. Topics addressed include race, social-economic dynamics, and religion.

See also: Office of the President Records (UPA 4) Box 18, FF9-11, Box 27, FF 24-25; Box 42, FF30-31; Box 311, FF 26-27; Box 312


"Blacks at Penn, Then and Now"
A Pennsylvania Album, 1990

This expose on the experience of black pioneers at Penn in the early 20th century describes the racism and other adversities they faced, as well as the organizations and programs established by these students in response. It contains references to significant figures such as Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander and John Baxter Taylor, as well as organizations like Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Phi Alpha, the Afro-American Studies program, and DuBois College House.

Also see the following records in the Office of the President Records (UPA 4):
Negro Students – Box 5 FF 50; Box 58 FF 29
United Negro College Fund – Box 40, FF 8
Black Admissions – Box 231, FF 10-14


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Records, UPS 41 AL

This collection contains records of the first black fraternity on campus – includes charter information, rosters, history, correspondence, and records of activities from 1966 to 2002.


La Universidad de Pennsylvania
UPA 9 Box 3, FF 18

This October, 1910 pamphlet was written in Spanish, and contains descriptions and images of the university in the early 20th century.


Hispanic Studies at Penn: From Rennert to Sebold, UPP 15.19RL

This article on the history of the Hispanic Studies Department was written by prominent faculty member Otis H. Green, upon his retirement. It was included as a supplement to the Hispanic Review in 1972.

For more on Latin American Students and Studies at Penn, see Office of the President Records (UPA 4):
Box 14 FF 5-7 – Proposed Latin American Center
Box 22 FF 10-12; Box 312, FF 24 – Latin American students
Box 34 FF 8 – Latin American teachers
Box 43 FF 37 – Latin American relation


Oriental Studies in the University, UPP 15.1

A pamphlet on the history of Oriental studies (at this time, Egyptology/Near East studies) at Penn. Refers to faculty contributions to the field as a whole

See also: Office of the President Records (UPA 4) Box 84 FF 9; Box 270 FF 21-22


Oriental Club of Philadelphia Records, UPV 504

The Oriental Club was established as a "forum for the exchange of academic ideas and new cultures of South and East Asia." Its members mostly derived from universities and museums in Philadelphia.


Department of South Asia Regional Studies Records, UPB 1.9SA, and W. Norman (William Norman) Brown Papers, UPT 50 B879

These two collections contain documents on the South Asia Regional Studies department. The former consists of administrative documents, such as student/faculty lists, budgets, and other paperwork. The latter documents William Norman Brown's establishment of the department, through his notes, drafts, papers, and correspondence.

See also: Office of the President Records (UPA 4) Box 33, FF 13-18; Box 51, FF 53-55; Box 84, FF 10; Box 271 FF 20-21


Japan Alumni Club
1908 Alumni Register, p. 63, and 1909 Alumni Register, p. 61

Students from Japan had been attending the University of Pennsylvania as early as 1879. By the early 20th century, a thriving alumni club by the name of the Same Window Society had emerged, and appears in various alumni records.

See also: Office of the President Records (UPA 4) Box 21, FF 43-49 – Japanese students, letters protesting university action; Box 235, FF 11 – Japanese Alumni


School of Veterinary Medicine Records, UPC 5
Box 7, FF 66; Box 8, FF 6

One folder is titled "Minority Students" and the other "Pioneer Black Vets."