Photo: First Durham Colored Library building, donated by John Merrick and located at the corner of Fayetteville and Pettigrew streets.
Durham Colored Library, Inc. (DCL, Inc.) is one of Durham’s oldest non-profit organizations. Its board is dedicated to the mission of “lifting up stories about African Americans, both current and historical, to help create a more comprehensive picture of the American experience.”
The organization currently manages two writing projects. The longest standing project is publishing the Merrick/Washington Magazine for the Visually Impaired. The newest project is funding the research for and writing of a biography about DCL, Inc. founder Dr. Aaron McDuffie Moore.
DCL, Inc. was established in 1913 by Dr. Moore and was officially chartered as a non-profit organization in 1918. At that time, its board functioned to oversee the management of the Durham Colored Library’s facilities and staff. One of the library facilities was renamed the Stanford L. Warren library in 1940 and is standing today as a branch of the Durham Public Library system. The historic Durham Colored Library system remained under DCL, Inc.’s management until 1969 when the Durham County Public library system was integrated and absorbed the Stanford L. Warren library, as well as DCL’s other branches and bookmobile, into its network.
The DCL, Inc. nonprofit continues to function today producing literary projects about Black history and culture.