Another Light on the Hill: Black students at Tufts – a new online exhibit

“Although individual black alumni of Tufts have been duly recognized for their on-campus accomplishments, the overall experiences of black students, past and present, have largely remained unrecorded. This exhibit seeks to highlight the experiences of black students at Tufts over the course of the twentieth century.” – Gerald Gill, Another Light on the Hill

Since the Gerald Gill Papers arrived here at Digital Collections and Archives last fall, we’ve been working to process and describe the collection. As we wrote earlier, we’ve also participated in the Center for Study of Race and Democracy symposium “The African American Freedom Trail Symposium at Tufts: The Past, Present, and Future of Black Boston” and developed a physical exhibit which can now be viewed in Tisch Library.  We’ve also been working to develop a new online exhibit based on Professor Gill’s work entitled Another Light on the Hill. screen capture of Another Light on the Hill exhibit Professor Gill’s Another Light on the Hill was a long term project that developed over many years. First exhibited in 1988, the Another Light on the Hill exhibit sought to tell the often-overlooked story of black alumni. The physical exhibit was staged three separate times before 2002 when Professor Gill wrote a version of the Another Light on the Hill manuscript for publication in Tufts Magazine. A portion of the Another Light on the Hill exhibit is on permanent display at the Africana Center at Tufts University. Most of the resources from the original exhibits were drawn from archival collections held by Digital Collections and Archives (DCA) at Tufts University. In 2007 DCA began a collaboration with Professor Gill to recreate the physical exhibit as a permanent digital exhibit. This work ceased when Professor Gill passed away suddenly in July 2007. The project undertaken in this online exhibit is significant, both in topic and in extent and will be debuted in multiple iterations. This first iteration contains text written by Professor Gill and applicable images to accompany the text. We have purposefully and specifically maintained the voice and stylistic choices of Professor Gill's manuscript. Ultimately, DCA intends for this exhibit to stand as an introductory resource for all who are interested in the history of black faculty, staff, and students at Tufts University, with a descriptive timeline of events as well as associated biographical and topical pages. As such, updates will be made to exhibit items, text, structure, and content on a rolling basis. Tufts students, alumni, and faculty interested in participating in expanding this exhibit are encouraged to contact Tufts Digital Collections and Archives. Another Light on the Hill is one of the first of DCA’s digital exhibits to premiere in Tufts’ new exhibit format on This new software makes it easier to build and maintain exhibits and creates a more uniform and user-friendly browser experience. Most importantly, in the spirit of Another Light on the Hill, we hope to use this technology to help bring other overlooked stories to light.