A pioneer in African American history, August Meier was a model of an engaged academic, a prolific writer, active participant in the civil rights struggle, and staunch member of the NAACP, SNCC, and CORE. While pursuing graduate work at Columbia under Henry Steele Commager, Meier taught at a succession of Historical Black Colleges, including Tougaloo (1945-1949), Fisk (1953-1956), and Morgan State (1957-1964). His dissertation, completed in 1957, became the first of eleven books he wrote or edited, Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915 (1963), with much of later work conducted in collaboration with Elliott Rudwick and John Bracey. Meier joined the faculty at Kent State University in 1967 and remained there until his retirement in 1993. His much-anticipated monograph on the history of the NAACP had not been completed at the time of death in 2003.
The Meier collection is am exceptional assemblage of books, pamphlets, and periodicals centering on African American history and culture, the antislavery and civil rights movements, and race relations. Reflecting his research interests and personal history, the collection includes a number of first editions, signed copies, and scarce titles. Many other books and journals owned by Meier have been integrated into the general collections of the University Libraries.
- African Americans--History
- Antislavery movements
- Black Panther Party
- Civil rights movements
- Congress of Racial Equality
- Du Bois, W. E. B.(William Edward Burghardt),1868-1963
- Race relations