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The Toni Morrison Society’s Bench by the Road Project is delighted to announce the upcoming placement of our 21st Bench, dedicated to the memory of Daniel Alexander Payne Murray (1852-1925). Murray, the first African-American Assistant Librarian of Congress, profoundly influenced the field of black historical record keeping in our nation at a time when African-centered books, objects, and artifacts were either ignored, destroyed, or kept in private homes.

During his tenure at the Library of Congress, Murray developed an interest in cataloguing what he referred to as “outstanding persons of African descent,” and thus began to collect materials by and about these individuals with a plan to publish this information in an encyclopedia.

In 1900, at The Paris Exposition Universelle, Murray organized and exhibited over 500 books on the African diaspora along with a corresponding pamphlet entitled the “Library of Congress Collection of Books by Colored Authors." Murray was responsible for constructing the Fair's “Negro Exhibit,” along with Thomas Calloway and W.E.B. Du Bois.

This bench is co-sponsored by the Toni Morrison Society and the Daniel AP Murray African-American Cultural Association of the Library of Congress, and will be placed on April 28th, at 3:00 PM, at the Library of Congress.

To learn more about Daniel Alexander Payne Murray, click here.

To view the Daniel A. P. Murray Pamphlet Collection, click here.