During its first year, the Society moved into its initial location in the 1100 block of East Rosedale Street, though Ms. Rolla soon realized more room was needed to house artifacts and records as well as to carry out the Society’s activities. Ms. Rolla borrowed $4,000 to purchase the former home of the Rev. A.L. Boone at 1020 East Humbolt St. in 1979.
The historic location of the Society and its extensive collection quickly attracted state-wide as well as national attention. In 1997, the Society closed the facility for one of its most ambitious, but worthwhile initiatives—the restoration of the Boone House. The Society and the Tarrant County community celebrated the ribbon-cutting of the Boone House in February of 2009. The expected completion of the restoration is winter of 2010.
After being moved between several locations, the Society’s collection found a secure home on permanent loan to the Fort Worth Central Public Library’s Genealogy, History and Archives unit.
The collection is arranged into 11 individual series with the majority of items consisting of information dating from the last half of the 20th century. The series are:
- Society Records: the records relating to the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society.
- Individual Collections: the personal papers of prominent individuals in the Fort Worth Black community including, but not limited to, Bertha Collins, Aureila Harris, Lillian Horace, Francine Morrison and Lenora Rolla.
- Local Black Community: items relating to the Black community of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. *contains subseries*
- Obituaries: newspaper obituaries and funeral programs of African-Americans who have died in Fort Worth
- Scrapbooks: numerous scrapbooks on a wide variety of topics. Most were compiled by unidentified individuals.
- Newspapers: archives of the various African-American newspapers in Fort Worth including, but not limited to, The Fort Worth Mind, Fort Worth Defender and Lake Como Weekly. It also includes archived issues of African-American newspapers published in Dallas, other Texas communities and several other locations across the U.S.
- Books: various books on a variety of topics. Of special interest might be books regarding the training of African-American Women’s Army Corps (WACS) during World War II.
- Photographs: images of the African-American Community of Fort Worth. They are divided into identified and unidentified subjects. They are subdivided by people, groups and places. Noted in the collection are photographs by Calvin Littlejohn. *Photographs are also located in other series within the collection.*
- Subject Files: newspaper clippings, magazines, pamphlets and other materials on various aspects of the Black community at large.
- Calendars, Posters and Oversized Items
Additional Items: materials that are beyond the scope of the 10 previously discussed series or could not be identified as belonging to another collection. The slave bill of sales is of particular interest.