The Mary Watson-Hymon Afro-American Center is a special collection of books and materials that uniquely represents studies in anthropology, economics, political science, literature, art, history, and music that are characteristic of Black culture.The center is housed on the second floor of the A. C. Lewis Memorial Library in Rooms 167 and 168.
Its resources are designed and organized to support course offerings relating to people in America of African and Caribbean ancestry. It also exposes students to resources by and about Black Americans and their heritage.
It was established by a cash gift from the Senior Class of 1969 and named in honor of the late Dr. Mary Watson-Hymon. The Honoree received her A. B. degree at Kentucky State College in 1940.
She received her B.S. in library science in 1941 and the Master of Arts in 1954 from the University of Denver. Doctoral studies were pursued at Indiana University and she received the Doctor of Education Degree in 1960.
Her many outstanding accomplishments are chronicled in Who’s Who in America, 1968-69, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who of American Women, 5th edition and Who’s Who in Library Science.
Dr. Watson-Hymon was also recognized for her contributions in education in the local, state and national community.
Dr. Watson-Hymon’s professional work experience includes serving as librarian at Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, 1941-1946. She was appointed head librarian at the A. C. Lewis Memorial Library in the spring of 1947.
She was the first librarian to hold a doctorate of any kind at the institution and she served until 1974. Her untimely passing on August 28, 1974 was a very sad occasion.
Watson Hymon worked unceasingly to continue the growth and development of the library’s program and its resources. Presently this collection has 17,366 resources available.
The Restricted Collection is available to patrons from 8 a.m. until 9:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday. Restricted books may be requested at the Service Desk.
The collection is closed on Saturday and opens from 4 p.m. until 9:45 p.m. on Sunday.
The circulating books are located in the Afro-American Center Annex, Room 268. A related reference collection and bound periodicals are also maintained in the Service Desk Area (Room 267) on open shelves.
All restricted books, magazines, and journals must be used in the area.