Many thanks to The Herald-Sun for continuing to take an interest in the history of our community. Monday’s article about the Durham Colored Library Inc. is a great example.
Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan wrote a good overview of my recent presentation at The Forest at Duke, but I wanted to clear up a few details for the history buffs out there. As Dawn wrote, Durham’s first library for African-Americans began in the basement of White Rock Baptist Church in 1913 with book collections donated by Dr. Aaron Moore and James E. Shepard. Dr. Moore was the sole founder of the non-profit DCL Inc., which was chartered in 1918, not 1916. Dr. Stanford Warren donated land for the library’s 1940 expansion to a site at Fayetteville, Simmons and Umstead Streets. The DCL, Inc. soon grew to include four additional locations: Bragtown, John Avery Boys Club, McDougald Terrace and a traveling bookmobile.
The story of the DCL Inc. is part of the upcoming biography of Dr. Moore by Blake Hill-Saya, so stay tuned. We expect it to be at least a year before publication.
C. Eileen Watts Welch
President and board chair
Durham Colored Library Inc.