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Visiting Lecturer to Talk about Northwestern
Wisconsin's First African American Community

RELEASED: Oct. 5, 2007

Timothy Ericson
Timothy Ericson

EAU CLAIRE — Timothy Ericson, senior lecturer emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will present a lecture titled "Discovering Forgotten Stories: Northwestern Wisconsin's First African American Community" Friday, Oct. 19, at UW-Eau Claire. The lecture will begin at 5:15 p.m. in Phillips Recital Hall in the Haas Fine Arts Center.

Ericson will talk about his research on a 19th century African American community in Pierce County. As early as the 1850s, African Americans migrating from Southern states settled in Trimbelle, Prescott, and River Falls. At its peak around 1880, the Black community included farmers, stone masons, barbers, Civil War veterans, ministers, and at least one doctor. By 1900, however, virtually all of Pierce County's African-American residents had departed. Ericson will discuss why African-Americans chose to settle in Northwestern Wisconsin and what may have prompted them to leave. He will also address the possibilities and pitfalls of working with digitized historical sources.

As an archivist and educator, Ericson spent much of his career in Wisconsin. He recently retired from his fulltime position as director of archival studies in the School of Information Studies at UW-Milwaukee, a position he had held since 2003. Prior to that he was the head of Archives and Special Collections at UW-Milwaukee and taught as an adjunct instructor in archives administration since 1990. Before coming to Milwaukee, he was education officer for the Society of American Archivists in Chicago, archivist and map curator at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Area Research Center archivist at UW-River Falls.

Ericson is a fellow of the Society of American Archivists and served as the SAA president during 2003-04. His presidential address, "Building Our Own 'Iron Curtain': The Emergence of Secrecy in American Government," was published in the spring/summer 2005 issue of the American Archivist and won the SAA's Fellow's Ernst Posner Award as the best article published during that year.

The lecture, which is held in conjunction with Wisconsin Archives Month, is free and open to the public. Support has been provided by UW-Eau Claire's McIntyre Library, the department of history, and the UW-Eau Claire Academic Affairs Professional Development Program.

For more information, contact Colleen McFarland, university archivist and head of special collections, at 715-836-3873 or mcfarlcd@uwec.edu.

-30-

CM/NW

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