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John Hope records

 Collection — Box: 61-179
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0020

Scope and contents

The records of John Hope (1897-1953) include documentation on the development of what would later be called the Atlanta University Center, when Atlanta University aligned with Morehouse College and Spelman College to form an academic consortium. During Hope's eight years as president, the graduate school was launched, the Department of Fine Arts was established, and the Trevor Arnett Library was opened. The Hope Papers include correspondence, administrative and financial records for all eight years of his presidency, as well as some personal and family records. The records of Florence Read, President of Spelman College, and Acting President of Atlanta University following Hope's illness and subsequent death document her efforts in providing sustained leadership for the school from 1936 to 1937.


  • Creation: 1897-1954


Rights statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright and/or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Biographical note

Dr. John Hope served as Atlanta University’s fifth president from 1929 until his death in 1936. Hope was born in Augusta, Georgia, in 1868. Hope received a B.A. from Brown University in 1894, and shortly thereafter returned to his home state to teach at Atlanta Baptist College (now Morehouse College) in 1898. He was elected president in 1906, thereby becoming the first African American to serve in that capacity for Atlanta Baptist College. He served as president of the college until July 1931, while simultaneously serving as the first African American president of Atlanta University. Hope presided over the University as it launched its graduate school, entered into a joint venture with Morehouse College and Spelman College to hold a Summer School, and started a laboratory school which offered training to students in the Department of Education. In addition, the School of Fine Arts was established, and a new library and athletic field were built during his administration. President Hope was instrumental in persuading the Public Works Administration to initiate a slum clearance program in Atlanta. In 1934, more than $2,000,000 was allocated to buy lands and construct the first public housing development in the United States.


60 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection is divided into twenty subseries: Historical, Personal & Family File; Biographical File; Sympathy Letters & Telegrams; Lecture Series; Memorial Services; John Hope Memorial Fund, Atlanta University; Printed Materials; Lugenia Burns Hope; Administrative and Institutional Files; Associations and Organizations; Educational Organizations; Philanthropic Organizations; Buildings and Grounds; Departments; Employment and Appointments; Housing; Laboratory and Nursery School; Library; Property; and Statistics.

Materials are arranged alphabetically within each subseries.

John Hope records, 1897-1954
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the AUC Institutional Records Repository