The Uni­ver­sity Libraries has acquired the records of Stull and Lee Inc., a Boston-​​based African-​​American archi­tec­tural firm. The one-​​of-​​a-​​kind col­lec­tion gives the Uni­ver­sity more than 40 years of sketches, designs, and other doc­u­ments of his­tor­ical sig­nif­i­cance in the industry, and is a sub­stan­tial addi­tion to Northeastern’s growing archive of mate­rials related to Boston’s African-​​American community.

The firm was founded in 1966 (as Stull Asso­ciates) and was one of the first reg­is­tered African-​​American archi­tec­tural firms in the country. Stull and Lee Inc. has been involved with projects in and around the Uni­ver­sity for decades, including Northeastern’s John D. O’Bryant African-​​American Insti­tute, the MBTA Rug­gles Sta­tion, and numerous housing devel­op­ments in the Rox­bury area. The firm has also worked on projects around the country and received national recog­ni­tion, including the Pres­i­den­tial Design Award pre­sented by the National Endow­ment for the Arts.

The evo­lu­tion of African-​​Americans in the archi­tec­tural pro­fes­sion in this country is a very impor­tant story to be told, and to have the records of a firm that par­tic­i­pated in that evo­lu­tion avail­able to scholars is impor­tant,” said Don Stull, the firm’s founder.

The col­lec­tion includes orig­inal archi­tec­tural draw­ings, project files, pho­tographs, slides, finan­cial doc­u­ments, and pro­mo­tional materials.

This is the biggest col­lec­tion we have by far,” said Joan Krizack, uni­ver­sity archivist and head of spe­cial collections.

William Wakeling, dean of Uni­ver­sity Libraries, said this acqui­si­tion sup­ports the North­eastern libraries’ focus on col­lecting records from Boston’s African-​​American com­mu­nity, such as those of Paul Parks — an engi­neer and civil rights activist who shaped local and state edu­ca­tional policy and worked on some of Stull and Lee’s projects.

Stu­dents and fac­ulty could use these archives to study topics in archi­tec­tural his­tory, urban plan­ning and design, urban renewal, African-​​American busi­ness his­tory, and diver­si­fi­ca­tion of the archi­tec­tural pro­fes­sion, as well as topics relating to spe­cific build­ings and insti­tu­tions, Krizack said. North­eastern plans to make a por­tion of the records dig­ital over time to pro­vide online access.

This col­lec­tion is exten­sive and has great research poten­tial,” she said.

The Uni­ver­sity Libraries include 967,000 vol­umes, 126,000 e-​​books, and 35,000 elec­tronic jour­nals. The libraries pro­vide award-​​winning research and instruc­tional ser­vices and a pio­neering mul­ti­media pro­duc­tion facility, and house inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized spe­cial col­lec­tions that doc­u­ment social jus­tice efforts in the Greater Boston area.