A Life Illuminated

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In these papers, constituting the Miscellaneous Series of the Mary Church Terrell Papers, you will find a variety of printed materials that document all phases of Mary Church Terrell’s public activities and provide glimpses of her private life.

The many serials, bound volumes, clippings, programs, and flyers attest to Terrell’s lifelong interest in education and advocacy for women’s equality, African American civil rights, and international human rights. The array of calling cards, invitations, and greeting cards offer insight into her extensive professional network, social circle, and family relationships. In 1900 Terrell accepted an invitation from the Slayton Lyceum Bureau to lecture professionally. For the next 40 years she traveled across the U.S. and aboard addressing black and white audiences. These papers include scrapbooks that she assembled containing clippings of her lecture reviews and press notices. You will find many pages inscribed with her handwritten notes. Among the memorabilia are Terrell’s 1891 marriage certificate, passports, and numerous awards.

In 2021, the annual Douglass Day celebration recruited volunteers to help transcribe this project. Find more information about Douglass Day celebrations here.

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