This collection was begun in 1969 by Mr. Gilbert Derr, alumnus and part time faculty member of DePaul University, to honor his wife Verrona Williams Derr.
The collection contributes to research and scholarship and is intended to aid in the appreciation of the contributions of African Americans to world culture.
Mr. Derr established an endowed fund to build the collection. Many of the materials purchased are in the circulating collection; however, books of particular significance to African American literary development are included in Special Collections. Among them are works of Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Ralph Ellison, Alex Haley, and others.
To learn more about the collection, please refer to the Special Collections bibliography.