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Sankofa Special Collection: Physical Collections

The best way to access the Sankofa Special Collection is via our digitized Sankofa materials. Digitizing the collections within Sankofa was the very first digital project undertaken by Meadville Lombard and the majority of the Sankofa Special Collection is now digitized. The Sankofa digital collections are completely and freely accessible to anyone in the world. A list of Sankofa digital collections can be found in the Digital Collections tab of this guide. The page below will provide information about accessing physical documents if you cannot find what you are looking for within digital collections, or if you prefer to access the physical documents.

Physical Collection List

Papers are archival collections created by an individual or family. While most of these papers of those of ministers, we also have papers of lay leaders, activists, and other individuals whose lives and experiences are important to Unitarian Universalism. 

Records are archival collections created by organizations. These can include congregations, UU affiliated organizations, or organizations with historical connections to Unitarian Universalism. 

Collections are archival collections that do not have a clear creator, such as an individual or organization, but are organized around a specific theme or historical event. 

Using Sankofa at Distance

If you need access to archival material from Sankofa that is not digitized, we offer access to physical collections to researchers through limited scanning requests and general reference help. If you cannot come to Chicago to use materials in person, email us at and we will do what we can to assist.

Using Sankofa in Chicago

The Meadville Lombard Archives and Special Collections is located right in the center of Chicago's downtown in the Loop neighborhood. We are open 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday by appointment. For researchers traveling to Chicago, we have special room rates at local hotels. Due to building security, all archive visits must be scheduled ahead of time. To arrange a visit, email us at with the dates and times you want to visit and the collections you would like to use. 

Ask an Archivist

If you have any questions about the Meadville Lombard Archives and Special Collections, just ask!

We can help with...

  • Scheduling an archive visit
  • Accessing archival materials
  • Using our digital archive tools
  • Answering reference questions
  • Scanning selections of documents
  • Donating archival material to Meadville Lombard
  • Creating archives at your local congregation

Meadville Lombard Wiggin Library
180 N. Wabash Ave.
Suite 625 
Chicago, IL 60601

Library and Archives Phone: 312-546-6488        Library Email:        Archives Email: