These past weeks, the UMW community celebrated two civil rights “Big Four” leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.and Dr. James Farmer.
2020 marks the centennial of James Farmer’s birth and UMW is honoring his legacy and actions during Farmer Legacy 2020 , a year-long commitment to “promoting inclusive excellence and community and civic engagement in the classroom, on campus and in the community …”
Dr. Farmer joined the faculty at Mary Washington College as Commonwealth Professor of History (later Distinguished Professor of History) in 1985 and left his impact on the campus as he continued to share his work as a civil rights activist and educator.
To raise awareness and learn more about James Farmer, Simpson Library staff have created several exhibits, currently on display in the lobby and in the Convergence Gallery, with biographical timelines of Farmer’s impactful life and books to checkout on the Civil Rights Movement. An additional exhibit, James Farmer’s Libraries, highlighting his personal collections of books and music, will open next month.
Special Collections & University Archives houses Dr. Farmer’s records from the last years of his life. The complete finding aid to his papers and audiovisual materials can be viewed here. Our digital collections also provide a selection of images and audiovisual materials, including the James Farmer Reflections series, thirteen of Dr. Farmer’s lectures given when he was Professor of History. These primary resources are accessible within the online James L. Farmer Collection.
As we kick-off the University’s many Farmer-related events this year, Special Collections and University Archives is honored to support the year’s remembrance and calls to action by continuing to preserve our Farmer collections and make accessible Farmer’s words and ideas to inspire a new generation’s work for social justice and inclusion.