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Randolph Stakeman's Maine African American archive

Identifier: M253

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  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Contents

The Maine African American Archive collection is a set of research files, collected by Bowdoin College Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies Emeritus Randolph Stakeman, that offer historical, sociological, and genealogical information on African Americans in Maine and New England. The collection includes census data, genealogy materials, and lists of names, principally centered on population studies. There are typescripts, copies of articles, newspaper clippings, and printed ephemera concerning slavery, abolitionism, and African American life that Stakeman participated in or collected for his own research. A large portion of the material are facsimiles or photocopies of original texts. The collection itself is not a composite set of African American history in Maine, rather the material offers a narrow window of research into what a single historian collected and created from 1975 to 2001.


  • Creation: 1800 - 2001
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1979 - 2001


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Randolph “Randy” Stakeman came to Bowdoin College in 1978. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Stakeman was well-versed in liberal arts education, and specifically the creation and development of an African American Studies Program. Stakeman’s arrival at Bowdoin aligned with John Walter’s last years as director of the college’s fledgling Africana Studies program. Stakeman was on the search committee for Walter’s replacement and helped convince the college’s administration in hiring Lynn Bolles, an anthropologist and first African American tenured professor at Bowdoin, in 1981. In 1989, Stakeman himself would take up the position as director of the program for an allotted three years. However, he would remain in the post for more than a decade. In the following years, Stakeman would serve, for a time, both as associate dean and director until his retirement in 2006.

During his time as a professor of Black history at Bowdoin College, Stakeman researched and wrote on the existence of Black families, communities, and lives in the state of Maine. This collection of Maine African American histories contains a portion of his files that help define the history of Black Mainers in the eighteenth and twentieth centuries.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 ovsz folder)

Language of Materials



A collection of research files concerning African Americans in Maine and New England, the bulk collected by Randolph Stakeman, Bowdoin College Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies Emeritus.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Daniel Hope in 2010, but the collection was created by Randolph Stakeman from 1975 to 2001.

Guide to the Maine African American Archive
Emma Barton-Norris
2011; 2024
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288