Archival Collections Collections Digital Collections

Hall of Fame for Great Americans Digital Collection

Photo credit: Bronx Community College, 2019.

Bronx Community College Archives has completed a large-scale digitization project of our Hall of Fame for Great Americans collection to enable faculty and the general public to continue using this landmarked monument as a tool for teaching, learning, and engagement in the Humanities. This project provides a visual history of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, bringing to life classroom discussions of history, historical  remembrance, and the impact of those luminaries whose busts line the Hall. The project also includes the development of an accompanying curriculum that will support faculty in continuing to use the landmarked Hall of Fame for Great Americans as a tool for teaching and learning. The goal of this project is to document the Hall’s history and illustrate the decisive battles it survived—including funding struggles and conflicts—to remain a vital part of the Bronx and New York City.


The Hall of Fame for Great Americans was designed by legendary architect Stanford White for what was, from 1900 to 1973, the uptown campus of New York University. The first Hall of Fame in the nation, it remains the  largest such Hall devoted to persons of achievement in the Humanities, arts, and sciences. Unusual for its time,  this Hall commemorates the achievements of women, African-Americans, and leaders in education, social work, and others who sought to improve the lives of ordinary Americans. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. 


This project was headed by Professor Cynthia Tobar (Archives) who oversaw the digitization and quality-review of ~4,000 archival images, including  photographs, negatives, slides, and documents with Hudson Archival, a leading preservation and digitization company, and their partner Pixel Acuity, a firm dedicated to the  preservation of our cultural heritage. Thanks to Eric Silberberg who smoothly implemented the upload of the Hall of Fame digital collection to the Internet Archive, ensuring access to this digital collection to our campus community as well as the general public. Many thanks to Dr. Grisel Acosta (English) for developing the accompanying humanities-focused curriculum. We wish to thank the National Endowment for the Humanities for giving us the opportunity to digitize and increase access to this important collection for teaching and research while our campus remained closed due to COVID-19.


Browse our collection on Internet Archive.


View/download the curriculum here:





Collections Digital Collections Oral Histories

“Community Care during COVID”: Oral Histories of Mutual Aid in the Bronx

Image courtesy of Bronx Mutual Aid Network, 2020-2021

Mutual aid is an act of solidarity and care between neighbors. It stands in opposition to charity and top-down giving, because it is planned and executed by a community, for a community to not just provide food and essential items but also to educate and organize. Together, Bronx Community College Archives and Mutual Aid NYC (MANYC) have formed a partnership to collect oral history interviews from community mutual aid organizers across the Bronx. In collaboration with BCC students, the Archives created this oral history archive to document these Bronx stories. Ultimately, our hope is that these stories collected during the COVID-19 crisis will be made available to organizers, while also preserving documentation of mutual aid work for scholars and activists.

Following in the footsteps of earlier archives initiatives that acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on our campus and community in the Bronx, the BCC Archives has teamed up with Mutual Aid NYC to develop a digital library and archive of mutual aid organizing tools and oral histories-created for, by, and in collaboration with mutual aid organizers in NYC. The Archives is particularly interested in documenting how these efforts fit within the larger history of community organizing and how this leads to residents feeling safe and secure during these turbulent COVID times. Thanks to funding by the Equity in Action program at METRO Library Council, Prof. Cynthia Tobar trained several Bronx Community College students over the summer of 2021 to collect interviews from Bronx-based mutual aid organizers as a part of the project. 

Image courtesy of Bronx Mutual Aid Network, 2020-2021

These last few months, we’ve been collecting stories of mutual aid in the Bronx, documenting the amazing grassroots efforts and care networks that have emerged locally in response to COVID-19. The students have collected stories from South Bronx Mutual Aid, North Bronx Mutual Aid, Rap4Bronx and Friends of the Aqueduct/Devoe Park. We are now working on sharing these back with community members and the general public. 

We wish to thank Metro’s Equity in Action program for giving us the opportunity to collect and archive organizing materials and oral history interviews from mutual aid organizing members who have worked tirelessly to care for their neighbors in the Bronx during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adriana Phillips

…is the founder of the south Bronx Mutual Aid. In this interview, we discuss her roles and some of the challenges she faced throughout the pandemic. Such as supply food for those one in need, house eviction, and some other issues that the communities faced before and during COVID19. Besides, we discuss the lack of information that is in the community as well as the roles that we should play in the community.

Link to the Full Transcript…

LoriKim Alexander

…is a founding member and organizer with the North Bronx Collective and organizes the Black Veg Fest. We talk about her roles and the challenges faced throughout the pandemic spanning from food disparity, gentrification, and some of the adversities the communities faced before COVID. We also discuss health and the lack of information in these communities as well as the roles everyone plays in having community.

Link to the Full Transcript…

Chef Geneva Wilson

…is a community chef working with schools, hospitals, clinics, and senior centers. She used this experience to help her community during COVID. She talked about some of the challenges she faced and how she and others were able to develop plans to navigate those challenges. Chef Wilson also spoke on how the government can do better in providing resources to people during difficult times.

Link to the Full Transcript…

Community Care during COVID Oral History team, including BCC student interviewers with their paired narrators

  • Cynthia Tobar, Head of Archives
  • Ariadna Phillips (South Bronx Mutual Aid), interviewed by Jorge Guzman
  • LoriKim Alexander (North Bronx Collective), interviewed by Andrew Roland
  • Chef Geneva Wilson (Friends of the Aqueduct Walk/Devoe Park), interviewed by Elizabeth Asemota

These and other interviews are now available on our Spotify channel.

For more information or questions, please reach out to Prof. Cynthia Tobar.

Archival Collections Collections Digital Collections

Journal of the Plague Year COVID 19 Archive

The BCC Archives has teamed up with the Journal of a Plague Year: An Archive of Covid-19 (JOTPY) to contribute stories on their completely digital archive to collect from communities traditionally underrepresented in historical accounts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are a part of our college, we want to hear your story! You are part of a diverse campus; one of the most diverse communities in the world. We know how hard the past year has been. Covid-19 has impacted us and our loved ones, and we all have important perspectives on this moment. Once you Share Your Story ( — whether individually, through your class, or your student organization — the BCC Archives and the JOTPY team will evaluate your submission and help make it searchable. You will have the opportunity to sign your name or keep your contribution confidential. Just know that all uploaded entries will then be made available to the public through our Collection ( page. We urge you to get involved, because unique voices will help educate future generations about today’s crisis.


Interviewee Consent Forms (for oral histories)

Standard Metadata Entry Sheet

Oral History Metadata Entry Sheet

Share Your Story User Guide

Audio-Video Recording Guide

Zoom Editing/Transcription Guide


See our collection and fair-use policy agreement at:

For technical questions, like website crashing or broken links, contact BCC IT at:

Any other questions can be directed to Prof. Cynthia Tobar, Head of Archives, at

Archival Collections Collections Digital Collections

Make Your Mark on History with Urban Archive

BCC Archives Partners with Urban Archive

The Bronx Community College Archives has teamed up with Urban Archive to make our photo collection available online and promote original works of history by students and faculty.


Urban Archive makes thousands of historical photos of New York City publicly accessible on its interactive map. The BCC Archives joins New York Public Library, Columbia University, and the Museum of the City of New York, among many other cultural institutions, by making the photographic collection of the Hall of Fame for Great Americans available on UA.



See the USER GUIDE on how to explore Urban Archive

Faculty, students, and staff interested in submitting their own blog post to Urban Archive should contact the assistant archivist, Alexander Rettie, at

Check out the great contributions we have received so far from BCC faculty:

From Reformatory to Retreat: A Women’s Home in Upper Manhattan (1893-1954)

Lilian Wald and the Hall of Great Americans

The Booker T. Washington Bust by Richmond Barthé 

Walking tour of Steinway, Queens

History of the Hall of Fame for Great Americas


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