The Work is Never Finished: Building Inclusive Archives 

Throughout its history, Oxford College of Emory University has had many identities. Much of its past has not been fully explored by researchers. For this exhibition, the Oxford College Library’s Archives & Special Collections Team selected records, publications, and artifacts to illustrate unexplored aspects of early Emory College and Oxford College of Emory University history.

This exhibition provides insight into sensitive and troubling events in the college’s history. While great care has been taken to create space in the archives for the experiences of historically excluded and minoritized groups, especially the individuals named or involved in these events, the majority of the collections reflect the perspectives of privileged white men. Material related to ongoing efforts to acknowledge the legacies of slavery and dispossession still impacting the institution are also included, providing opportunities to consider ways to transform present struggles through intentional and sustainable change.

physical exhibit that was previously in the Oxford College Library.
The physical exhibit of The Work is Never Finished that was on display from fall 2021 to fall 2022 in the Oxford College Library

As you explore this online resource, consider the following questions:

  • What were the attitudes and values of the people creating records in earlier time periods?
  • Who was collecting records to be preserved?
  • How are narratives about the past created and used?

Explore The Exhibit

Exhibition Content Warning

This exhibition includes materials related to Emory University’s past involvement in slavery and land dispossession, as well as racist imagery and outdated language which could be traumatic to viewers.

Oxford College Library Archives and Special Collections

woman looking through file in Oxford College Library Reading Room

Oxford College Library Archives and Special Collections contain materials concerning the college’s history, local history, as well as unique photographs and artifacts.

Find more information on using the Archives and Special Collections