About the Digital Photographs Collection:

The Storer College Digital Photographs Collection includes over 600 images that document the school from its creation just after the end of the Civil War to its dissolution in 1955. These remarkable photographs provide a glimpse of buildings, class projects, sporting events and student life in general on the campus. Also included are portraits of students, graduating classes, faculty and staff members, musical ensembles and student veterans among others. Additional identification and descriptive information for the photographs is welcome. Please email wvrhcphotos@mail.wvu.edu to provide details.

These images originate from the WVRHC’s Storer College archives and manuscripts collections and the Center’s photograph and postcard collections. Please note that this digital photograph collection does not contain the Center’s complete photographic holdings relating to Storer College. This online collection also does not include other types of materials, such as student records, financial reports, or correspondence that can be found in the Storer College archive and manuscript collections held at the WVRHC.

Storer College Archives and Manuscripts Collections at the WVRHC

Over 100 linear feet of records relating to Storer College have been preserved by the WVRHC. These archival collections provide insight into the administration and operation of Storer College during its 90 year existence. They also tell the story of Storer’s students, faculty, and staff by way of photographs, publications, memorabilia, scrapbooks and other materials. Detailed information about the holdings of the Storer College collections can be found on the Finding Aid section of this website.

With the exception of the photographs included on this site, the Storer College collections have not been digitized. Researchers will need to visit the Center to view and use these records.

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Storer College's Educational Mission

(Left Video): Storer College Commencement Exercises, June 3, 1946, on the Camp Hill campus in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The film includes the procession of graduates, the college choir, and faculty into Anthony Memorial Hall and candid footage of graduates, families and faculty after the ceremony.

Storer College's educational mission progressed from its beginning as a mission school to its development to a four year college. It was noted for its academic rigor, successful athletic teams and talented musical ensembles. Teacher training, industrial arts, religious studies and demanding scientific courses were part of the specialized educational programs that made Storer College a stand-out educational institution. The quality of “self-dependence” was a foundation of the educational mission. Students were instilled with the ability to rely and build on their own strengths. That skill served many graduates well and solidified Storer’s reputation.

Storer’s standing as a leading educational institution for African-Americans made it a logical place for the second meeting of the Niagara Movement, the predecessor of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP.) In 1906, the campus hosted the Niagara group that included civil rights activist, W.E.B. Du Bois and attorney J.R. Clifford, a Storer graduate and West Virginia’s first African-American attorney. At this historic meeting, Du Bois called for an end to illiteracy and discriminatory practices in public accommodations. Three years later, the NAACP was officially formed to carry on this work.

Storer College students benefitted from excellent academic preparation as well as activism on their campus. Graduates went on to become teachers, lawyers, legislators, noted musicians and even the first president of Nigeria. Although Storer College closed in 1955, its legacy lives on through its graduates and their many accomplishments.

(Background Photo) Anthony Hall on the campus of Storer College, Harpers Ferry, WV.