Beyond simply providing support and access to The HistoryMakers Digital Archive, the organization has also matched several institutions with African American alumni they had lost touch with, in an effort to have their personal papers and collections preserved. Though The HistoryMakers does not deal in material collections, the photos, letters, essays, articles, flyers, and ephemera found in these collections provide essential context and support evidence for the lived testimony of those interviewed for The HistoryMakers Collection.
Unfortunately, just as the 20th century passed with very little documentation of African America life, history, and culture in the oral medium, the same is true for archival collections. More than 90% of those interviewed for The HistoryMakers Collection would never write an autobiography – or have a biography written on them – but the percentage of those who have made decisions regarding where and how their personal collections will be saved is even greater. The HistoryMakers looks to its university archive partners to help in reversing this trend.