Poly Students at JHU

Primary Sources


Black Panther Party Newspapers 1960s-1970s 

The Black Panther newspaper covered the party’s successes, initiatives, global events, local and national politics, and debates on radical anti-capitalist politics and theories. It was distributed in order to share information and garner support for different groups fighting oppression. *Some are online


Office of the Chaplain/YMCA records Link 

The records of the Johns Hopkins chapter of the YMCA and the Office of the Chaplain are from 1889 to 1986. They’re arranged in three series: Social and Political Issues (1965-1979), University Community (1889-1980), and Student Handbooks (1889-1986). The first series has files on social issues prominent in the 1960s-1970s like racial discrimination, the Vietnam War, and drug use. 


Black Student Union records Link  

The records of the BSU contain correspondence, meeting minutes, and publications from the group spanning from 1972 to 1997, with the bulk from 1992 to 1996. The organization was founded in April 1968, shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. They worked to improve and create opportunities for Black  

students on campus and participate in community service activities like tutoring children. *Some are online


President’s Office records on “Black Students” (Muller and Gordon)  

These folders refer to “subject file” folders found in the administrative records of the President’s Office at Johns Hopkins University and contain information about what was being demanded in these years. Both Lincoln Gordon (1967-1971) and Steven Muller (1972- 1990) served as presidents of the university and addressed issues of coeducation, the Vietnam War, urban poverty, and importantly, the treatment and recruitment of Black students.  


Johns Hopkins University collection of African American political activism (Black Panther Party ephemera and photographs, 1967-1970) Link 

This collection contains materials related to African American political activism, primarily around the time of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements between the 1950s and 1970s. There are photographs and newspaper clippings created by the Black Panther Party and activists like Angela Davis. There are also materials from the NAACP, SCLC, SNCC, and SDS.  

Arts, Culture, Women  

Ethel’s Place: Celebrating Ethel Ennis, Baltimore’s First Lady of Jazz exhibition  

This landmark exhibition devoted to jazz vocalist Ethel Ennis (1932–2019) explores each era of the singer’s remarkable life—including Ethel’s Place, the storied Baltimore music club she owned with husband Earl Arnett. 


Ethel Ennis oral history Ethel | Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University | Aviary (jhu.edu) 

Oral history interview of Ethel Ennis (1932-2019), a Baltimore-based jazz singer, by Peabody Institute archivist Elizabeth Schaaf. 


Ethel Ennis Collection on Aviary Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University | Aviary (jhu.edu) 

The Ethel Ennis collection showcases numerous audio and video recordings of Baltimore's "First Lady of Jazz" (1932-2019). Born and raised in Baltimore, Ethel's career spanned 60 years and included several albums and a European tour with Benny Goodman. She also ran Ethel's Place, a jazz venue & restaurant, with her husband Earl Arnett. These audio and video recordings reflect Ethel's vibrant and wide-ranging body of work, including live performances, interviews, advertisements, and previously unheard recordings. 

Billie Holiday Collection Link 

The Johns Hopkins University Billie Holiday collection is an artificially assembled collection with manuscript material chosen by the curators of Special Collections, dating from approximately 1949 to 1993. The collection features eleven items related to the life, career, and death of jazz singer Billie Holiday, 1915-1959. Holiday, or "Lady Day," was known for her distinct vocal delivery and had a profound influence on jazz and blues music. 

Other – with related topics  

Johns Hopkins University News-Letter Link / Issues post-1991 Link 

Digital copies of the Johns Hopkins University News-Letter, the university’s student-run newspaper, dating from 1897 to present. The newspaper began with reluctant consent of the administration and students initially focused on literary material. As time went on, emphasis was placed on news and the paper remains as one of the most influential student organizations on campus. Issues from the 1950s to 1990s feature challenges Black students faced. *Available online 


Johns Hopkins University Yearbooks Link 

Digital copies of the Johns Hopkins University yearbook, a student-run series also known as the “Hullabaloo.” There are issues as far back as 1889 and as recently as 2015. They contain information about the university, the faculty, classes, student organizations, and athletics. They contain essays, advertisements, poetry, and photographs. *Available online 


Graphic and Pictorial Collection (Photographs of student demonstrations and protests) Link 

This collection consists of photographs, lantern slides, and negatives of individuals, events, and places associated with the history of Johns Hopkins University from the 1800s to the present. Images include portraits (both formal and candid) of students, faculty, guests, presenters, and alumni. Documented events include athletics, competitions, commencements, symposia, social events, protests, and daily life. *Available online 


Oral History interviews Link 

This collection has oral history interviews with administration, faculty, staff, alumni, and other JHU affiliates. Interviews of particular interest related to Black students at Hopkins, civil rights, segregation in Baltimore, and being a Black worker on campus, include Ernest Bates, James Cross, James Davis, Donald Perry, Gladys Burrell, Elmo Douglass, Levi Watkins *Available online 


Interview with local activist and political prisoner, Eddie Conway by Democracy Now Link