CWRU now home to archives from the nation’s oldest African American theater

Karamu House photo

Case Western Reserve University already is home to a wide range of treasured collections that add a tangible element to your future study of the arts, humanities and social sciences. This summer, CWRU added to its collection a 100+-year treasure trove of history and art.

Karamu House, the nation’s oldest African American producing theater and cultural arts center, recently donated its archives to CWRU’s Kelvin Smith Library. Featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the theater dates back to 1915. Alumni include Langston Hughes. Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis are among those whose names grace its guest book.

Read more about the Karamu House history and archives

CWRU already houses the archives of the nation’s oldest regional theater, Cleveland Play House. With the addition of the Karamu collection, the university is home now to one of the premier theater history archives in the country. 

Imagine walking to your campus library and accessing photographs, drawings, programs, posters and letters showcasing a century of Black history and theater. Imagine the research you’ll do. Imagine the cultural and artistic insights you’ll glean. Imagine your education (and your future) at Case Western Reserve.