Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

TinyCat’s March Library of the Month: The Carrie Smiley Fortune Research Library

To read more about TinyCat’s Library of the Month feature, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

TinyCat’s latest Library of the Month is one that offers its visitors a rich assortment of historical collections, housed on the second floor of the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center in Red Bank, New Jersey. The Carrie Smiley Fortune Research Library, whose namesake was a founding member of the National Urban League, is managed by Researcher/Archivist/Librarian Lynn Humphrey, who was kind enough to field my questions this month:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

The Carrie Smiley Fortune Research Library is a small but powerful library, whose goal is to educate the public about the impact of T. Thomas Fortune and others like him who led the way for civil rights and social justice.

Located upstairs at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, we are one of only two New Jersey national historic landmarks dedicated to an African American. In the library we offer reading and reference materials to our patrons, with resources focusing on the unsung heroes of the Civil War, Reconstruction, the beginnings of the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and African Genealogy. We also host cultural events, book clubs, and exhibits on a regular basis.

Tell us some interesting things about how you support your community.

The T. Thomas Fortune Foundation practices outreach through education, exhibits, webinars, and public programming which is the basis of our mission.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

My favorites would have to include The Private Collection of T. Thomas Fortune which contains works such as Charles Chesnutt’s The Colonel’s Dream and works by Kelly Miller, First Edition books donated to us such as Richard Wright’s Native Son, and our collection of Arena Magazines (not yet cataloged).

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

As a small library it’s always a challenge reaching the public and making our presence known.

Want to learn more about the Carrie Smiley Fortune Research Library? Follow them on Facebook and check out their full TinyCat collection here.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Calling all TinyCat libraries: become TinyCat’s next Library of the Month—just send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

One Comments:

  1. David Bentam says:

    Yesterday I was blessed to visit and tour The T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center located in Red Bank, New Jersey. As indicated on their brochure, they are committed to preserving and furthering the legacy of T. Thomas Fortune who was an advocate for social justice and used his journalistic pulpit to promote economic opportunity and advancement for the African American community. Do yourself a favor and make this historical landmark one of your must-see places to visit.

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