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E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State, The State University of New York

Archives & Special Collections: Fordham, Monroe

The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center

Descriptive Summary

Title: Dr. Monroe Fordham Papers

Date Span: 1957-2003

Acquisition Number: N/A

Creator: Dr. Monroe Fordham

Donor: Dr. Monroe Fordham

Date of Acquisition: 2000, 2002, 2003

Extent: 4 reels of microfilm; 1 DVD; 1 digital file containing an autobiography

Language: English

Location: Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State 

Processed: Arranged as donated by Dr. Fordham

A Short Biography of Dr. Fordham

Access: The Dr. Monroe Fordham Papers are open for research. Appointment necessary.

Reproduction of Materials:
See Archivist for information on reproducing materials from this collection, including photocopies, digital camera images, or digital scans, as well as copyright restrictions that may pertain to these materials.

Even though all reasonable and customary best-practices have been pursued, this collection may contain materials with confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the SUNY Buffalo State assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation:
[Description and dates], Box/Item/Reel number, Dr. Monroe Fordham Papers, The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.

Biographical Note:
Monroe Fordham was born on October 11, 1939 in Parrott, Georgia. His mother’s name was Arie Deloris Oxford, and his grandparents were Mance and Sarah Ann Oxford. Fordham earned an MS degree from Emporia State University, and in the fall of 1970 he entered a doctoral program in history at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he earned a PhD in 1973.  He was a faculty member of the History Department at Buffalo State College from 1970-1998.  He served as department chair for 12 years.  During his tenure as a faculty member at Buffalo State College, Fordham pioneered a number of initiatives aimed at preserving state and regional African American historical sources.  He also worked with numerous community groups in developing records management and records preservation programs.

Fordham is the author of two books, Major Themes in Northern Black Religious Thought, 1800-1860 (1975), and A History of Bethel A.M.E. Church, Buffalo, New York (1977) and numerous scholarly articles.  Since 1977 he served as editor of Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, an interdisciplinary journal that is published two times per year.  He co-edited, with his daughter, Pam Fordham, The Oxford Family Newsletter.  Fordham is also the author of numerous articles and book reviews in the field of African American History.

Fordham was a founding member of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier, Inc.  For more then thirty years, this organization has been dedicated to the preservation of African American history of Western New York.  Fordham has spearheaded the Association’s microfilm project, which films the papers of local individuals and organizations.

In 1986, Monroe Fordham was one of 50 educators in the United States selected by the American Association for Higher Education, the Carnegie Foundation and Change Magazine as a professor who made a difference in higher education. In 1993, Fordham received the Emporia State University Outstanding Alumni Award. In 1995 he was inducted into the Emporia State University Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Following his retirement, and in recognition of his work in regional and community history, Buffalo State College established the Monroe Fordham Center for Regional History in 2002.  In 2001 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree by the State University of New York.  In 2005, Fordham was the recipient of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s (ASALH) Carter G. Woodson Scholars Medallion.  ASALH was founded by Dr. Woodson in 1915, the annual Woodson Award is presented to a scholar whose career is distinguished through at least a decade of research, writing and activism in the field of African American life and history.

Fordham resided the rest of his life in Buffalo, New York.  For 46 years, he had been married to the former Freddie Mae Harris of Kansas City, Kansas, also a career educator.  The couple has three children and six grandchildren. Dr. Monroe Fordham passed away on June 13, 2012.

*A more extensive biography/autobiography of Dr. Fordham is available for download on this page.

Scope and Contents:
The collection contains personal files; office files; scrapbooks; publications; and a 2002 interview. Please see inventory for full details. A brief series note is below:

    Series I: Personal Files 
    E 185.97 M646 .A3 2000 Reel no. 1; files 1-67
    Series II: Office Files 
    E 185.97 M646 .A3 2000 Reel no. 2; files 1-30
    E 185.97 M646 .A3 2000 Reel no. 3; files 30-61
    Series III: Scrapbooks and Thesis 
    E 185.97 M646 .A3 2000 Reel no. 3; files 60-61
    Series IV: Post-Retirement Papers 
F 129 .B89 N427 2003
    Series V: “A Conversation with Monroe Fordham” 2002 Interview
E 185.9 .F67 2004 (DVD)


A Conversation with Dr. Monroe Fordham

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