23 September 2019 News Releases, Academic, K-12, Librarian, Faculty, Student/Researcher

New Collection Unveils Digitized Records of Historical Police Brutality and Discrimination

A new collaboration between ProQuest and the Chicago History Museum has digitized a wealth of valuable records from the African American Police League.

CHICAGO IL, September 23, 2019 – A new collaboration between ProQuest and the Chicago History Museum has digitized a wealth of valuable records from the African American Police League (AAPL), an organization founded in the 1960s to fight racial discrimination and police brutality and to improve relations between African Americans and law enforcement.

The launch of this next ProQuest History Vault™ collection, titled “African American Police League Records, 1961-1988,” will be celebrated at a special event at the Chicago History Museum on September 24. The collection is live and available now to libraries around the world through ProQuest.

The collection includes primary sources that will allow faculty and students to delve into the origins, operations and historical significance of the AAPL, not only to study Black History and police brutality, but to develop critical thinking skills around commonly researched topics like activism, social movements, equality, diversity and human rights. Included in the records are publicity materials, correspondence, report files, news clippings, speeches and more. The AAPL’s physical records will continue to be housed at the museum.

“Situations like the Eric Garner and Sandra Bland cases – two African Americans who recently were killed by police in New York and Texas, respectively – are going to continue until things change,” said Howard Saffold, a founding member of AAPL and now CEO of P.A.C.T., a nonprofit organization helping communities take control of their safety. “That’s one reason the digitization of the AAPL records is so important: to show people this history. We want to make these documents available so people can learn from them and make changes in the future.”

“In our ever-evolving society, it is imperative to advocate for justice, and this partnership does just that – by making historic details of significant events available to the public,” said Gary T. Johnson, President of the Chicago History Museum. “We are honored to partner with ProQuest History Vault and are pleased to make insights from the AAPL available so that we can facilitate future learning and growth.”

The AAPL records can be used alongside other collections in ProQuest History Vault such as The NAACP Papers, Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century and Black Historical Newspapers.

“The digitization of this collection will allow students and researchers to analyze these records and learn from the work of this vital organization,” said Daniel Lewis, Senior Product Manager for History Vault. “ProQuest is honored to work with the AAPL and the Chicago History Museum to make these records available to researchers around the world.”

About the Chicago History Museum:

The Chicago History Museum serves as a hub of scholarship and learning, inspiration and civic engagement. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago’s stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. Located at 1601 N. Clark Street in Chicago’s historic Lincoln Park neighborhood, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. To learn more visit chicagohistory.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago.

About ProQuest (https://www.proquest.com)

ProQuest supports the important work in the world’s research and learning communities. The company curates six centuries of content – the world’s largest collection of journals, ebooks, primary sources, dissertations, news, and video – and builds powerful workflow solutions to help libraries acquire and grow collections that inspire extraordinary outcomes. ProQuest products and services are used in academic, K-12, public, corporate and government libraries in 150 countries.

Along with its companies and affiliates Ex Libris, Alexander Street, and Bowker, ProQuest helps its customers achieve better research, better learning and better insights. For more information, visit our ProQuest and Extraordinary Stories blogs, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.