Announcing the Inaugural Program Director of the HBCU Digital Library Trust

Andrea Jackson Gavin
Andrea Jackson Gavin

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Andrea Jackson Gavin as the inaugural Program Director of the HBCU Digital Library Trust, effective October 11, 2023. The Trust is a partnership of the HBCU Library Alliance and Harvard Library to sustain and deepen capacity for the digitization, discovery, and preservation of African American history collections held by HBCU libraries and archives.

Jackson Gavin brings extensive professional experience and personal passion to this role. She is currently Director of Engagement and Scholarship at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, where she is responsible for grant writing and compliance, and leads collaborative initiatives, outreach, and creative programming to enhance scholarly engagement with library and archival collections.

She previously served as the AUC Woodruff Library Curator of Manuscripts and Archives from 2005 to 2008 and Head of Archives Research Center from 2009 to 2017. From 2017 to 2019, Jackson Gavin was the Executive Director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium based at the University of Chicago Libraries, where she provided strategic leadership and operational management for Consortium activities to support preservation, digitization, accessibility, and acquisitions of collections on African American history in the Chicagoland area. 

In addition to her work at AUC Woodruff Library, Jackson Gavin’s HBCU experience includes Archivist and Archives Intern roles at Fisk University and Howard University. She is also a proud graduate of an HBCU – Spelman College – and New York University, with a master’s degree in history and archival management. Jackson Gavin has led or participated in numerous grant-funded projects relating to African American collections, and she is a frequent contributor to professional conferences and the professional literature.

The Program Director will provide strategic leadership and facilitate collaborative planning and implementation to build out services and develop business models for the HBCU Digital Library Trust. As a Harvard employee based in Georgia, the Program Director will work out of an office at AUC Woodruff Library to engage with stakeholders across the HBCU community. The Program Director reports to the Associate University Librarian for Discovery and Access, Harvard Library, and will work closely with other colleagues at Harvard Library, the AUC Woodruff Library, and other HBCU libraries.

Jackson Gavin’s appointment follows an extensive search drawing a very strong candidate pool. The search committee included members of the HBCU Digital Library Trust Executive Team and engaged with a search firm to ensure a robust and open search. We wish to thank all who expressed an interest in the position. Their enthusiasm conveyed an excitement about the project that we are sure will only grow as it moves from planning to implementation.   

Please join us in congratulating Andrea Jackson Gavin on her appointment as Program Director, HBCU Digital Library Trust.


Adrienne Webber
Dean, University Library, Grambling State University
Chair, HBCU Library Alliance Board

Loretta Parham
CEO and Director, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library
Executive Sponsor, HBCU Digital Library Trust Executive Team

Martha Whitehead
Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian
Executive Sponsor, HBCU Digital Library Trust Executive Team