Cincinnati civil rights leaders give archives to UC

The University of Cincinnati Libraries received the archives of Marian and Donald Spencer, civil rights activists and leaders.

Marian Spencer, former vice mayor of Cincinnati, is known for her efforts to desegregate the city’s public schools and Coney Island Amusement Park.

Her late husband, Donald, was among the first African-American Realtors in Cincinnati and the first African-American broker on the Cincinnati Board of Realtors.

“Donald and I both graduated from UC, which makes it extra special that the archives will be locally available at the university,” said Marian Spencer.

The Marian and Donald Spencer Collection spans eight decades and includes letters, memoranda, articles, memorabilia, photographs, honors, awards and more. The collection documents many significant historical challenges and advances during the Spencers’ quest for racial equality. Among these is the desegregation of YWCA pools and summer camps nationwide, which became national policy in 1950.

“The Marian and Donald Spencer Collection enriches our understanding of Cincinnati during the civil rights era and is a vital addition to UC Libraries,” said Xuemao Wang, dean and university librarian.

The collection is open to the public and will be preserved in UC’s Archives and Rare Books Library in Blegen Library.

Click on a thumbnail below to view photo gallery from the event.

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