Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Center forBlack Digital Research, #DigBlk



The Center for Black Digital Research, also known as #DigBlk, engages public and scholarly audiences in innovative and collaborative initiatives that bring the buried and scattered histories of early Black organizing to digital life. Through archive and pipeline building, #DigBlk is committed to preserving Black organizing histories in the long nineteenth century and to building future generations of Black scholars who advocate for social justice in higher education, repositories, museums, and beyond. #DigBlk is home to the award-winning Colored Conventions Project, Douglass Day, and the early Black Women’s Organizing Archive.

#DigBlk is committed to bringing Black organizing in the long nineteenth century to digital life and to making the records that document scattered and too often ignored Black collective activism fully and freely accessible for public and scholarly audiences. In community with our siblings in both scholarly and community spaces, we seek to develop collaborative and reciprocal practices and partnerships in the work of recovering Black history. The Center’s graduate leaders, faculty directors and team have been recognized not only for their projects’ scholarly interventions and work in digital arenas, but also for creating structures that foreground shared leadership and just compensation, citation, and acknowledgment practices. They are also committed to structural interventions that help address the ongoing and persistent lack of diversity in the professoriate, the larger academy, and historical and cultural institutions.

The Colored Conventions Project, one of the longest-standing ongoing Black digital projects, has been widely recognized in national media, including The New York Times and Forbes for its scholarly interventions of creating a comprehensive digital database of the proceedings and records of Colored Conventions meetings (state and national) spanning more than seven decades during the 1800s. Nearly two dozen exhibits have been created or are in process to share stories of this movement. In 2018, CCP was recognized by the NEH as one of 50 Essential Projects.

The Center is co-led by P. Gabrielle Foreman and Shirley Moody-Turner. Dr. Foreman is the founding faculty director of the Colored Conventions Project, Paterno Family Liberal Arts Professor in Literature in the College of the Liberal Arts, with appointments in the departments of English, African American Studies, and History. Dr. Moody-Turner is associate professor of English and African American Studies and founding director of the Black Women’s Organizing Archive.

The Center is located on the third floor of Pattee Library and supported by the College of Liberal Arts and the University Libraries.

Please direct all inquiries to the Center’s Administrative Team at