January 20, 2022

History: University of Arkansas Libraries Releases Digitized Collection From Black Americans for Democracy Student Group

From U. of Arkansas News:

In honor of Black History Month, the University Libraries’ special collections department has released two collections from the Black Americans for Democracy, a registered student organization active at the University of Arkansas from the late 1960s through the 1970s. All 20 issues of the organization’s newspaper, the BAD Times, have been digitized and made available on the Libraries’ website for reading and full text searching.

The Black Americans for Democracy manuscript materials (MC 1915.UA) contain meeting minutes for the organization, photos, and other materials documenting changes as the group evolved over time. These collections explore the lives of black students during a time of great social change.

Black Americans for Democracy organized as both a political and social group after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. The group created awareness of the issues facing black students on campus, promoted the achievements of black students and faculty, and provided social interaction. The group sponsored lectures and films that brought attention to current issues while urging black students to engage in campus life. The club lobbied administrators to provide more opportunities for black students. The group changed its name to Students Taking a New Direction in 1979. The new organization was granted two permanent seats on the Associated Student Government. In the late 1980s, the organization evolved into what is now known as the Black Students Association.


The BAD Times has been popular with researchers for many years. Frequent use, coupled with the age of the newspapers, created preservation concerns, as some of the issues began to crumble. The digital collection of the BAD Times newspaper can be viewed on the University Libraries’ Digital Collections website.

Learn More About the Collection

See Also: Other Digital Collections From the University of Arkansas Library

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.