Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc.
Title: Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. Collection
Dates: 1964-2005
Quantity: 1 linear ft.
Abstract: The Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. Collection contains diverse materials associated with the history of the organization, administrative documents, materials related to the National Urban League, conferences and meetings agendas, brochures offering programs and services, speeches, copies of newspaper clippings, correspondence and many photographs of local and national conferences, annual meetings, staff, members of Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc.
Language: English
Repository: Onondaga County Public Library
Local History & Genealogy Department
447 South Salina Street
Syracuse, New York, 13202
(315) 435-1900

Administrative History

The Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. was a charitable community service organization, one of the 113 affiliates of the National Urban League, founded in 1964 by Dennis Dowdell Sr. When it was in existence The Urban League worked on implementing the basic American values, such as family life stability, home ownership, education and employment for blacks, other minorities and the poor. Its mission was, “To assist African-Americans toward self empowerment for achievement of justice, economic, educational, social and racial equality.” To meet its goals, the Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. offered various services and programs for improvement of the American society for the long term, including: Educational Programs; Youth Development Programs; Housing Services; Workforce Development Services.

In the 1960s the Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. was known among the local African-Americans as the first stop to search for good jobs, thus the organization was cooperating with local businesses, police and fire departments to hire black people. Each year, in a formal annual ceremony the Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. gave awards to individuals, families and local businesses who were striving to advance racial equality. The most recognizable award was the Harriet Tubman Award.

After the resignation of Leon E. Modeste, the CEO with the longest tenure in the Urban League of Onondaga County, from 1979 to1994, the organization faced many problems, mostly financial and managerial. In less than ten years of struggle, in January, 2002 the board of Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. decided to dissolve the organization and to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

On June 22, 2007 documents and pictures pertaining to the Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. were donated in a dedication ceremony to the Beauchamp Branch of Onondaga County Public Library by Leon Modeste and Andrew Willis, former CEOs of Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. For preservation purposes the donated materials were transferred to the Local History and Genealogy Department, where they were compiled in an archived collection. The Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. collection contains valuable information for the African-American History of Syracuse, N.Y.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection comprises archival materials related to the Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. It includes minutes, historical newspaper clippings and albums of black-and-white and colored photographs. Some are duplicated on a CD in JPG and TIFF format. The collection is divided into six main series, supplemented by subseries of miscellaneous records. The main subseries are: Annual Reports and Minutes; Legal Documents; Annual Celebrations and Special Events; Publication and Printed Documents; Correspondence and Ephemera Objects and Photographs. Some of the records are not dated and a big percentage of the photographs don’t have any information related to the creator, the event, or the people on the pictures. The records are arranged in chronological order, whenever possible.

Series 1: Annual Reports and Minutes.

This series contains documents related to Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. These documents include Annual Meetings Minutes of the Board of Directors, President’s reports, Board of Directors Lists, Vice-Chairs List and other documents related to the management of the organization records. Date coverage is from 1976 to 1997. However, not all years are presented.

Series 2: Legal Documents.

This category includes important legal records related to the Urban League of Onondaga County Inc., such as By-Laws, Requirements for Audit Reports and training materials conducted by the National Urban League, Inc., Manual of the Affiliates for the National Urban League, Inc. Under miscellaneous subseries are described varieties of other administrative documents. All of the records are arranged in chronological order, when the date is available. Date coverage is from 1987 to 1996.

Series 3: Annual Celebrations and Special Events

The Annual Celebrations and Special Events series contains a compilation of printed programs for the annual celebrations and special events. These programs have diverse information about the history, offered programs and news of the organization. Each annual program includes a list of the staff, Board of Directors, Annual Reports, Harriet Tubman Award winners, notes for the special guests, speakers and more. There is also a subseries with miscellaneous records of some of the Black History activists. The date coverage is 1984 to 1997.

Series 4: Publications and Printed Materials.

Publications and Printed Materials series includes documents that provide information about the offered programs and services. These include educational books, booklets and fliers. The subseries of Newspaper Clippings contain interviews, organization news and announcements from 1973 to 2002.

Series 5: Correspondence and Ephemera objects.

This series includes three correspondence envelopes and some personal items, such as a two Pins with the symbol of the Urban League (the equal sign in a circle) and a business card. In the correspondence envelopes along with letter notes are enclosed photographs, with descriptive notes and newspaper clippings.

Series 6: Photographs.

This series contains a large number of photographs and one photo CD from different Urban League events. Some of the photographs have description of the persons, the date and the photographer, but most do not. The photographs are organized into five albums housed in polypropylene pockets by size. Many images are missing dates and displaying them in chronological order is not possible. There are also three additional albums: 6, 7 and 8 which are preserved in the original order in photo albums, as they were donated by the Urban League of Onondaga County. The CD contains digitized duplicates of some of the images in JPG and TIFF format. For the convenience and easy access the photographs with a description note were scanned and uploaded to the New York Heritage website, where they can be viewed free of charge. Date coverage is from 1978 to 1994, and some are undated.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is arranged into series and subseries by subject categories and in chronological order, when it was possible. Each series contains folders, numbered consecutively. The photograph collection is organized in albums.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Patron must have a valid OCPL library card.

Use Restrictions

User must use materials in the Local History and Genealogy Department of OCPL.
Permission must be obtained from staff for reproduction of any materials.

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Related Material

This is the only archived collection of Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. available in Local History and Genealogy Department. For online users, a photograph collection is available on The New York Heritage website. Please check with OCPL staff to access the archival collection.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Angelou, Maya
Bahouth, Halaby B.
Dowdell, Dennis Sr.
Huling, Elijah Jr.
Modeste, Leon E.
Rudolph, Wilma
Willis, Andrew

Corporate Bodies

Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc.

Subjects

Black history and the Civil Rights Movement.
Black History.
Civil rights activists.
Civil rights movements--New York (State)--Syracuse--History--20th century.
Civil rights workers, Black.
Civil rights workers--New York (State)--New York--Biography.
National Urban League--History--20th century.
National Urban League.
National Urban League. Affiliate Development Dept.
Teenagers--Education--Social aspects--United States.
Young adults--New York (State).
Young adults--United States--Social life and customs.

Places

Onondaga County (N.Y.)--History--Societies, etc.
Onondaga County (N.Y.)--History.
Onondaga County (N.Y.)--Social conditions.
Onondaga County (N.Y.)--Social life and customs.
Syracuse (N.Y.)--Education.
Syracuse (N.Y.)--Genealogy.
Syracuse (N.Y.)--History.

Genres and Forms

Booklets.
Business cards.
Clippings.
Compact Discs.
Correspondence.
Ephemera.
Handbooks.
Invitations.
Manuals.
Memorabilia.
Minutes.
Notebooks.
Photographs.
Pins.
Programs.
Publications.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. Collection
Onondaga County Public Library
Local History and Genealogy Department

Acquisition Information

Donation from Leon Modeste and Andrew Willis, former CEOs of the Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. to Beauchamp Branch of Onondaga County Public Library, then to the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Central Library, Onondaga County Public Library.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: IRP
Date: January, 2012
Revision history: January, 2012 - EAD created (IRP)

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Inventory

Series 1: Annual Reports and Minutes
Box 1, Folder 1 Urban League Annual Dinner Meeting, 25th Anniversary.1989
Box 1, Folder 1 Board of Directors’ Meetings.1993, 1994
Box 1, Folder 1 Board of Directors’ Meetings List.1989-1990, 1996-1997
Box 1, Folder 1 Vice-Chairs List.1991
Box 1, Folder 1 Financial Statements Audit of Urban League of Onondaga County and Urban League’s Plan of Action for Fiscal Department.1992
Box 1, Folder 2 President’s Reports.1990, 1993
Box 1, Folder 3 Meetings Minutes Notebook of L. Halaby.1976
Series 2: Legal Documents
Box 1, Folder 4 By-Laws of Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. (two copies). Developed 1964.Revised 1987-12-8
Box 1, Folder 5 Manual for Affiliates of the National Urban League, Inc.Revised 1988
Box 1, Folder 4 Requirement of Audit Report and Management Letter from Local Leagues.Revised 1992-01-10
Box 1, Folder 4 Urban League, Inc. Audits and Management Letter.1993
Box 1, Folder 4 Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. document.1995
Box 1, Folder 4 Agenda of National Urban League Board Training.1996
Box 1, Folder 4 Historical Overview of National Urban League.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 4 The National Urban League Board, Inc., Local Urban League Board Orientation presented by Robert S. Walters.n.d.
Miscellaneous
Box 1, Folder 6 Letter from John F. X. Mannion (copy).1984-12-10
Box 1, Folder 6 Letter from William B. Bush, Minority Leader regarding the “Drug Free Zones”.1992-12-22
Box 1, Folder 6 Resolution Requesting the City of Syracuse and the City School District to Establish Drug Frees Zones in and around the City School Property and Related Matters to Combat Drug Use in City Schools.1992
Box 1, Folder 6 Letter from William Johnson Jr.1993-07-21
Box 1, Folder 6 Letter from Mario M Cuomo – Governor.1993-07-27
Box 1, Folder 6 Letter from Housing Visions Unlimited, Inc.1993-08-04
Box 1, Folder 6 Announcement for Emergency Staff Meeting.1993-08-05
Box 1, Folder 6 Untitled document, missing first page.
Box 1, Folder 6 Urban League of Onondaga County Announcement (two copies).1993-10-04
Box 1, Folder 6 Urban League of Onondaga County Resolution No. 971 Acknowledging the Acceptance of the Jan. 1st, 1997 update/progress Report.1996-12-19
Box 1, Folder 6 Urban League Office Relocation Floor Plan, Syracuse Office Environments.
Box 1, Folder 6 Employee Census Document.1993-06-01
Series 3: Annual Celebrations and Special Events
Box 1, Folder 7 Anniversary Celebration programs.1984, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993 (two items), 1994, 1997
Box 1, Folder 8 Silver Anniversary of Urban League of Onondaga County program.1989
Box 1, Folder 8 Biographical information of Wilma Rudolph.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 8 Resume of Jack White.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 9 Leon E. Modeste Award Letter from the youth at Southwest Community Center.1993-06-10
Box 1, Folder 9 Dinner Roast honoring Leon E. Modeste.1994-01-18
Box 1, Folder 9 Speech for Leon Modeste.n.d.
Miscellaneous documents related to Black History
Box 1, Folder 10 Biographical information of Maya Angelou.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 10 Maya Angelou’s Inaugural poem.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 10 Information about Kwanzaa.n.d.
Series 4: Publications and Printed Materials
Box 1, Folder 11 The Episcopalian.1969
Box 1, Folder 11 A Parent Action Handbook. Questions and Answers: Your Child’s School Success.1979
Box 1, Folder 12 Urban League News.1989
Box 1, Folder 12 Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 12 Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. A year in Pictures.1996
Box 1, Folder 13 Urban League of Onondaga County brochure.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 13 Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. programs brochure.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 13 Christopher Community, Inc. programs brochure.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 13 Don’t Make a Baby if You Can’t be a Father brochure.1990
Newspaper Clippings
Box 1, Folder 14 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings (photocopies).1973-2002, n.d.
Series 5: Correspondence and Ephemera objects.
Box 1, Folder 15 Envelope from Andrew (Andy) Willis to Halaby Bahouth. Includes one newspaper clipping and a photograph with a descriptive note.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 15 Envelope from Andrew (Andy) Willis to Halaby Bahouth. Includes two newspaper clippings.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 15 Envelope from L. E. Modeste to Ozzie Edwards, which includes a handwritten note, newspaper clippings and two photographs with description on the back.2005-04-01
Box 1, Folder 16 Two Pins with carved symbol of the Urban League, the equal sign in a circle.n.d.
Oversize 2 Plaque for “Outstanding Community Service Award for Social Action” presented to the Urban League of Onondaga County Inc.January 25, 1992
Oversize 2 Framed and signed print: Urban League Onondaga County 25.1989
Box 1, Folder 16 Business card of B. Halaby Bahouth.n.d.
Series 6: Photographs
Box 1, Folder 17 Album 1 contains black and white and color photographs, size 8’-10’.1978-1982, n.d.
Box 1, Folder 18 Album 2 contains black and white photographs, size 5’-7’.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 19 Album 3 contains black and white photographs, size 3.5’-5’ and 3.5’-3.5’.n.d.
Box 1, Folder 20 Album 4 contains Personal Portraits and some group photographs of Urban League of Onondaga County, black and white photographs, size 5’-7’.1989, n.d.
Box 1, Folder 21 Album 5 contains different size original and copies of photographs of famous people, guests of Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc.1979-1992, n.d.
Box 1, Folder 22 Album 6 is a blue colored photo album, which contains colored photographs of Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. events, meetings and Urban League staff.1989-1990, n.d.
Box 1, Folder 23 Album 7 is a red colored photo album, which contains different colored photographs of Urban League of Onondaga County, Inc. events, meetings and Urban League staff.1988-1994, n.d.
Box 1, Folder 24 Album 8 is a donation of B. Halaby Bahouth photo album in floral elements, which contains colored photographs from the 30th Annual Anniversary of Urban League Dinner – Harriet Tubman Awards at Oncenter.1994-09-08.
Box 1, Folder 25 A photo CD with black-and-white photographs.n.d.

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