Autumn Ryan ’24
April 20, 2023
Malik Bartholomew ‘04 has been appointed as the new Archives & Special Collections Assistant for the William Alexander Library. Bartholomew stepped into his role earlier this month. He will collect, preserve and protect the historical items and documents of the University. Bartholomew will also be responsible for assisting individuals with historical projects about Dillard.
Bartholomew has gained more than 15 years of experience working in Dillard’s library. Since 2008, he has served as the library student worker supervisor and historical consultant, where he worked as the evening and weekend library staffer, managed library programs, maintained the general book collection, operated the library’s social media, reserved library spaces for events and assisted the librarians.
“I am still very humbled and honored to serve as the archivist and I am thankful for the support of confidence from our library director Jennifer Collins, past University archivist Mr. John Kennedy and the entire library team on having faith in my ability to manage the archives department,” said Bartholomew.
He plans to improve and share the University archives with students, faculty and New Orleans residents.
In addition to his role at Dillard, Bartholomew is a seventh-generation New Orleans native who serves as a community griot, cultural curator, local historian, photographer, researcher and tour guide.
“I want more people to know about the University archives and the wonderful things we have in our collections. I want to show them how they can utilize this information in their research. I want to continue the digital project started by the past archivist. I want to create more digital exhibits and maybe a blog to showcase collections within archives. I also want to update the archives website and work with different departments on our record management policy at the University to ensure that we are properly preserving our current history,” Bartholomew said.
One of his goals is to collaborate with the student body and administration on publishing a school yearbook again. According to Bartholemew, yearbooks are an “important historical time capsule” that is often utilized within archives. “I am also willing to work, partner with, and support other University historical projects, which I am sure will be developing in the future as Dillard University President Dr. Ford is very invested in the rich history of Dillard and how we can tell our own story,” he said.
He explained how important it is to preserve Dillard’s history because it has helped create the world we live in today: “In order for us to know how we can continue to build a better Dillard University, we must understand the lessons and stories from the past and the University Archives allows you to see that past via the documents, photos and yearbooks within our collections,” said Bartholomew. He receives numerous requests on a weekly basis from various universities, scholars and writers about historical information on alumni, past presidents, faculty, academic programs, campus organizations and past events at the University. “We also get requests from family members doing genealogy work and looking for information on parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents,” he added.
Bartholomew was a history major while at Dillard. He was a member of the History Club and became a brother of the Beta Phi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he served within the chapter as chapter historian and director of membership intake.
He is currently a board member of the Congo Square Preservation Society, the Louisiana Afro Indigenous Society, One Book One New Orleans, and was a past member of the curatorial board of the Pass it On Poetry Open Mic Team. Additionally, he serves as the lead docent and resident historian at Studio BE, the solo exhibition of visual artist Brandan “Bmike” Odums. Also, he is the proud owner of Know NOLA Tours, a historical tour & consulting company that provides the blackest and the best tour experience in New Orleans. He created Know NOLA Tours to share the knowledge about the Indigenous, African, and Black impact on the city of New Orleans. Recently, his company gave a tour to director Steven Spielberg and his family. Know NOLA Tours offered a city-wide historical tour of Dillard University and its impact on the city of New Orleans during the Presidential Inauguration of Dr. Rochelle Ford.
He has received several awards such as the New Orleans Gambit “40 under 40 Award,” New Orleans Saints Small Business Highlight and was recognized as a leader in the tourism industry by Biz New Orleans Magazine.
Bartholomew took the opportunity to pour back into his alma mater and make the library a place that students enjoy.
“I was offered a position by the late Dean Tommy Holton to work in library services, help with library programs, and supervise student workers. It was a great opportunity to give back to Dillard University and the current student body. I believe that Dillard University is a special place and I am honored that I get a chance to work on the Avenue of the Oaks and to give back to current students who are the true leaders and change agents of today’s society,” said Bartholomew.
Bartholomew’s love for the library will keep our Archive flourishing. Most recently, he and former archivist John Kennedy ‘10 curated materials for the HBCU Exhibit at Capitol Park Museum, which was unveiled on Tuesday, April 18 during HBCU Day at the Capitol, hosted by the Louisiana Board of Regents.
“The library is a facility that people come to when they need resources and support. It is also a place of knowledge and intellectual conversation. I love working with the library team to provide a place where students can come to ask questions, research, read, and get the academic and intellectual support that they need both inside and outside the classroom to become the scholars they are meant to be,” he said.