The University Archives & Special Collections has a growing collection of images, publications, and historical records from Northeastern's colleges, centers, student groups, and administrative units. Within this collection, the Archives contains 140 issues of The Onyx Informer, a student-run newspaper that began in 1972 and documented the voices of students of African origin and their perspective on campus and community issues, unity and diversity.
Within its crumbling newsprint pages, The Onyx Informer tells the story of a vibrant Northeastern student organization and provides the best description of the African American experience on the Northeastern campus since 1972. A digitized, searchable version of The Onyx Informer, available online, will allow students to full-text search for research topics of their choosing. This online source could then be incorporated into the curriculum with class projects in African American studies, activism, history, music and more.
Our goal is to raise $3000 to digitize 140 issues of The Onyx Informer. This estimate is based on the per-page scanning charges by University Archive's membership with the Digital Commonwealth. The papers are fragile and with donor support, the Archives will be able to digitize the collection and preserve the student voice, bringing the collection and history of the organization, to everyone, anywhere in the world.
Thank you to all who supported the Onyx Informer digitization project. Now that we have the funding available to scan the pages of the Onyx Informer, we hope to raise an additional $3,000 to establish a unique online portal for the collection that would include enhanced searching and browsing functionalities for researchers visiting the digital archive.
"The Onyx Informer served as a voice for Black student engagement in the Northeastern University community for over three decades. Founded during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the publication served as a vehicle for Black students on campus to exercise two of the major hallmarks of America's great democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of the press."- Dr. Vanessa D. Johnson, former faculty advisor of The Onyx Informer and Associate Professor and Director of the College Student Development and Counseling Program.
The John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute is committed to intellectually, culturally and socially inspiring students toward excellence, success and service. Through programs, resources, services and activities the Institute fosters a nurturing, supportive and welcoming environment focused on students of African origin. Moreover, the Institute is dedicated to engaging the broader university community, the surrounding urban community and the world for balanced student and leadership development enjoined with the promotion and distinction of their career goals.
The University Archives and Special Collections documents the teaching, research, community service, student life and administrative functions of Northeastern University. The department also preserves and makes available the records of private, non-profit, community-based organizations that document diverse and under-documented populations.