Center for Black Digital Research

The Center for Black Digital Research, #DigBlk, is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts and the University Libraries, and works closely with The Eberly Family Special Collections Library and Research Informatics and Publishing. #DigBlk is a public-facing, digital research center that engages public and scholarly audiences in innovative, community-based research that brings the buried and scattered histories of Black organizing to digital life. #DigBlk is home to the award-winning Colored Conventions Project, Douglass Day, and the Black Women’s Organizing Archive.

As the only project-based Black digital research center focused on building accessible online archives related to 19th and 20th century Black organizing, #DigBlk is committed to developing and modeling best practices in collaborative and reciprocal partnerships in the work of recovering Black history. The Center’s leaders and its projects are known not only for their scholarly interventions and work in digital arenas, but also for creating structures that foreground student leadership, compensation and acknowledgment, and for their commitment and interventions to help diversify the professoriate, the larger Academy, cultural institutions and GLAM professions.

The Colored Conventions Project, the longest running of the three flagship projects, has been widely recognized in national media, including The New York Times and Forbes for its scholarly interventions of creating a comprehensive digital database of the proceedings and records of Colored Conventions meetings (state and national) spanning more than seven decades during the 1800s. Nearly two dozen exhibits have been created or are in process to share stories of this movement. In 2018, CCP was recognized by the NEH as one of 50 Essential Projects.

The Center is co-led by P. Gabrielle Foreman, founding faculty director of the Colored Conventions Project and Paterno Family Liberal Arts Professor in Literature in the College of the Liberal Arts, with appointments in the departments of English, African American Studies, and History; and, Shirley Moody-Turner, Penn State associate professor of English and African American Studies.

To connect with the Center, please direct all inquiries to Gabby Sutherland, the Center's Administrative Support Assistant, at

Department Contact Information

312 Pattee Library
University Park, PA 16802-1807

Center for Black Digital Research Staff

Name Title Email Office Phone
Denise Burgher CBDR Research Associate
Sergio Carmona Administrative Support Coordinator
Jim Casey CBDR Managing Director
Lauren Cooper CBDR Research Librarian
P. Gabrielle Foreman CBDR Co-Director
Brandi Locke CBDR Research Associate
Shirley Moody-Turner CBDR Co-Director
Gabrielle Sutherland CBDR Administrative Support Assistant