University Libraries

Andersen Library

November 27, 2015

History of the Collection

The Givens Collection began in the hands of New York private collector Richard Lee Hoffman. With leadership from University of Minnesota professor and founding curator, Dr. John S. Wright, and the support of the Givens family and an 11-member Patron’s Council of leaders in the Twin Cities African American community, the collection was purchased in 1985. In 1986, the Collection was re-named in honor of Archie Givens, Sr. (1919-1974), a successful Minneapolis businessman and entrepreneur who was a visionary supporter of higher education, particularly for young people of color. The Givens Foundation for African American Literature continues to support the collection.

The Givens Collection and the University of Minnesota Libraries are grateful to The Givens Collection Patron's Council for their leadership, vision, and generosity. The Patrons of the Collection are:

Steven and Sharon Belton
Nathaniel and Victoria Davis
Fred and Earline Estes
Richard and April Estes
Fred and Toni Green
Beckwith and Gwendolyn Horton
Delbert and Marjorie Johnson
William and Faye Johnson
Ezell and Kim Jones
Cornell and Wenda Moore
William and Alice Stubblefield
Phebe Mae Givens
Roxanne Givens
Carol Meshbesher and Archie Givens, Jr.

How to donate

The Givens Collection welcomes the donation of books, manuscript material, or monetary donations to support the collection. Manuscript material (personal papers or organizational records) may include correspondence, working files, photographs, unpublished works, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, book club records, or any other items that document the literary life of African Americans. The material does not have to be organized to be donated. To discuss donations, please contact the curator.