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New AAMU Librarian Named

January 17, 2023

New LRC Head Has Extensive HBCU Experience

Alabama A&M University has selected a new Director of the J.F. Drake Memorial Resources Center and State Black Archives Research Center & Museum.

Dr. Brandon A. Owens, Sr., has over eight years’ experience in various capacities at libraries, archives, and museums at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).  Prior to joining Alabama A&M University, Dr. Owens served as associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs, dean of the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library, and assistant professor of history at Fisk University, where he implemented several technological advancements to support the strategic mission of the University.

“As a native Alabamian, I am looking forward to the opportunity to give back to my community and serve over 6,000 students in the state of Alabama by overseeing the development and management of the University Libraries system," said Dr. Owens. "As a public historian, I am even more excited about the opportunity to highlight, showcase, and bring local, state, and national awareness to the important role of African Americans in Alabama’s history through the State Black Archives Research Center & Museum.”

During his tenure at Fisk, Dr. Owens secured over $2.5 million in grants and contracts to support historic preservation, digitization, and public access to archival materials. He also played a key role in the successful reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in December 2022.

Prior to Fisk, Owens served as the access services/cultural heritage manager for the Levi Watkins Learning Center at Alabama State University. In this role, he managed the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture; helped coordinate construction for the $5 million interpretive center on the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail; and assisted in the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of two historic house museums on campus--the home of civil rights leader Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy and the birth-home of world-renowned singer Nat King Cole. In addition, Dr. Owens was director of tourism for Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and Parsonage Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, the only church where Martin Luther King, Jr., pastored, and his home that was bombed by segregationists in retaliation for the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Dr. Owens has served on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Historical Association, the Black Heritage Council of the Alabama Historical Commission, and the Executive Board of the Tennessee Library Association. He most recently served as a member of the Board of Directors for Nashville’s Metro Historical Commission Foundation, the Nashville City Cemetery Association, and the first African American President-Elect of the Tennessee State Library and Archives Friends.

Dr. Owens holds a B.A. in history from Fisk University, an M.A. in history from Alabama State University, and a master's degree in library science (MLS) and Ph.D. in public history from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).

He is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, and is married to Candice L. Owens. Dr. Owens is the proud father of two graduates of Fisk University, Brandon A. Owens, Jr., who graduated in 2021, and Mye A. Owens, who graduated in 2017.