RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Inside the James E. Shepard Memorial Library at North Carolina Central University important pieces of history are being scanned one by one.
“I’m seeing the past because in 2023 what’s interesting is to see photos from 1960, 1950 about Black excellence and Black intelligence and celebrating education among our community,” said Alejandro Ibrahim, a senior at NCCU. He works inside the archive library.
Last year the school announced a partnership with Getty Images.
Ibrahim is digitizing some 50,000 photographs housed in the school’s library.
He told CBS 17 every time he scans a photo, he’s learning something new about history.
“Sometimes we’ll talk about how this famous person came to Central, but we also have people here that helped fight for the liberation of our people and still do today… and so I think that’s important,” said Ibrahim.
Andre Vann is the coordinator for the NCCU Archives.
He can name a number of notable people who’ve stepped foot on campus over the years.
Vann says all of the photos in the university’s archives tell a story.
“It was important from a strategic standpoint to finally kind of elevate it up, the stories and narratives and just kind of offer I think for us a largely a new way to sort of cast African American life and history,” said Vann.
Some of the notable figures included in the archive photos are Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Reverend Jesse Jackson.