Press Release | Washington DC | February 29, 2016

Howard University’s Renowned Historic Library Named a National Treasure

National Preservation group partners with Howard University to re-imagine Founders Library

As our nation concludes a month long celebration of African-American achievement, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Howard University’s The Founders Library a National Treasure. As the first site at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to be named a National Treasure, the National Trust and Howard University will partner to re-imagine Founders Library as a creative and vibrant 21st century learning space, while maintaining its historic character.

“Historic libraries like Founders can be reimagined to fit the needs of the modern age, while continuing to serve as monuments of past ideals and achievement,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “With Founders now named a National Treasure, we look forward to working closely with the university to ensure the creation of a more versatile and functional library – one that honors is distinctive character and rich history.”

As a National Treasure, the National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC) will provide Howard University with technical assistance on the use of federal and new market tax credits to fund future rehabilitation costs. National Trust experts will also advise Howard University on best practices to ensure the historic fabric is maintained for generations to come.

“The designation of Founders Library as a National Treasure is an honor. This recognition is a testament to the many treasures here at Howard University. Additionally, we are excited to partner with the National Trust for the restoration of the Library, as we continue to make strides in offering our students a preeminent education with the best available resources.”

Opened in 1939, Founders Library was the largest and most extensive research facility among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). African-American Architect Albert I. Cassell built the four-story, brick, Colonial Revival building using federal funding from the Public Works Administration. In 2001, the building was named a part of the Howard University National Historic Landmark District.

Founders Library contains the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC), recognized as one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive repositories for the documentation of the history and culture of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas and other parts of the world.

A press conference will be held at The Founders Library on Monday, February 29 at 2 p.m. EST. The event will be livestreamed via Periscope. To attend virtually, you can follow @SavePlacesLive on Twitter. You can also follow the hashtag, #SaveDiversePlaces for more information.

To learn more about The Founders Library National Treasure, visit


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

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