The Black Bibliography Project (BBP) plans to produce a bibliographic database of printed works by Black writers from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. With the support of the Beinecke Library and a grant from the Mellon Foundation, project co-PIs and codirectors Jacqueline Goldsby and Meredith McGill collaborated with a team of librarians from Yale to develop the data model for their database. Drawing on Beinecke’s James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection to pull case studies, the team of librarians developed a Linked Data model for BBP in an instance of Wikibase and trained and supported a group of graduate student bibliographers in a pilot phase of data entry. This essay details our collaboration with the BBP codirectors and other contributing faculty as well as our training of the graduate student bibliographers. It also explores how a project conceived as a scholarly intervention additionally became an intervention in the historic inequalities and gaps in cataloging description and access.
Barton, Melissa and Brenna Bychowski. “Modeling Black Literature: Behind the Screen with the Black Bibliography Project.” In Ethnic Studies in Academic and Research Libraries, edited by Raymond Pun, Melissa Cardenas-Dow, and Kenya S. Flash. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2021.