Storer College Finding Aids

The West Virginia and Regional History Center holds five archives and manuscripts collections that exclusively contain Storer College materials. Additional materials relating to Storer College exist throughout the Center’s holdings. Researchers should investigate the Center’s books, printed ephemera collection, other archives and manuscripts collections, and newspapers among other sources.

These materials are not available online and must be used at the WVRHC in person. Each collection has an A&M (Archives & Manuscripts) identification number. It is important to make note of this number when looking through the lists of records.

The descriptions below provide a brief summary for each collection. More detailed information (including box and container lists) is available for the larger collections in our Guide to Archives and Manuscripts and are linked below. For research and reference assistance, please call 304-293-3536 or email

Administrative and Operational Records (A&M 1322)

A&M 1322 contains administrative and operational records and is the largest Storer College collection. It consists of over 78 linear feet of records and one reel of microfilm. The materials in A&M 1322 date from 1865 to 1957, but the majority of the records are from the twentieth-century, specifically 1930 to 1957.

Correspondence files make up the largest component of this collection. These letters reveal the management and operation of Storer College and include information on alumni, development of the campus, veteran’s affairs, public relations and West Virginia state agencies. A&M 1322 contains a considerable number of financial records that provide details on Storer’s budget and donors. Student records are also a significant part of this collection.

Information on John Brown’s Fort which served as a museum on the Storer Campus can be found throughout this collection. Other notable materials include scrapbooks and newspapers. See the scope and content note in the Guide to Archives and Manuscripts for more detail.

Correspondence and Business Papers (A&M 2621)

A&M 2621 contains over 21 linear feet of records. This collection also contains institutional and personal records related to the college. Correspondence and financial records make up the largest part of the collection, but it also contains minute books, bulletins, newspaper clippings and memorabilia.

A diary and other papers belonging to Henry T. McDonald, President of Storer from 1899 to 1945, are available in A&M 2621. This archives and manuscripts collection also contains information on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as well as the service of Storer College students during World War I and World War II. See the scope and content note in the Guide to Archives and Manuscripts for more detail.

Architectural Drawings and Diplomas (A&M 1471)

&M 1471 consists of 45 architectural drawings and 12 diplomas. 32 of the 45 architectural drawings in the collection are found on one reel of microfilm that accompanies the collection.

Alumni and Student Records (A&M 1168)

A&M 1168 is comprised of four reels of microfilm. The film includes a list of Storer College alumni from 1872-1955. It also contains student registers and record cards. Please note that alumni and student records are also available in A&M 1322 and A&M 2621.

Miscellaneous Records (A&M 1131)

This small collection consists of one folder of material. The collection includes a prospectus regarding the nature, history, and future of the college (1908); an invitation to the unveiling and dedication of a memorial to Heyward Shepherd (1931); a program for the Twentieth Founders Day Exercises (1943); and a transcript of an address given by Storer College alumnus and professor William A. Saunders for the Twentieth Founders Day Exercises (1943).

Additional Archive and Manuscript Sources

Storer College records are present in other archives and manuscript collections held at the WVRHC. A&M 109, West Virginia War History Commission Records, includes correspondence about the collection of war history information from Storer College. A&M 1976, West Virginia State Board of Control Correspondence, includes records relating to Storer and Board of Control governance. A&M 3193, General Education Board Records, includes materials relating to aid from the General Education Board and African-American colleges including Storer College. More information on Storer College may be found in archive and manuscript collections not listed here as well as in the many other materials available at the WVRHC.

WVRHC Staff hold a Diploma from the Storer College

WVRHC staff members unravel a Storer College diploma.

Graduation Banners, Beanies, and Flyers for the Storer College

Graduation banners, beanies, and pennants are part of the Storer College collection at the WVRHC.

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.