Daniel Murray, well-known librarian, bibliographer, and historian, was one of the first Afro-Americans to work as a librarian at the Library of Congress in 1871.1 Although not formally educated in the profession, he rose to the position of assistant librarian before he retired in 1923. In 1899 Murray organized an exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition on Negro authors. Under his direction his award-winning exhibit became the core of the Library of Congress's Colored Author Collection. Although Murray's attempt to publish an encyclopedia of Afro-Americans' achievements was not successful, it laid the groundwork for others to eventually publish multivolume encyclopedias about the Negro race. Murray was also a prolific author and a frequent contributor to Afro-American journals. This essay seeks to illustrate the historical and sociopolitical contributions of Daniel Murray as they reflect the path toward an Afrocentric consciousness.


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