Barber-Scotia College Photographs | Presbyterian Historical Society

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Barber-Scotia College Photographs

March 7, 2023
Barber-Scotia students in college library, circa 1960s. Pearl ID: islandora:309464

Now available in Pearl are photographs of Barber-Scotia College, a historically Black women’s college in Concord, North Carolina. Spanning 1928 through the 1960s, the photographs highlight students and faculty, classroom scenes, and campus buildings. Also depicted is Dr. Leland Stanford Cozart, a graduate of Biddle University. Cozart was president of Barber-Scotia from 1932 to 1964, during a period of rapid expansion and change that solidified the higher education curriculum at the school.

Click here to view the photographs.

Barber-Scotia College, Concord, North Carolina, circa 1950s. Pearl ID: islandora:309484

Founded in 1867 as Scotia College by Presbyterian pastor Rev. Luke Dorland, it was the first school for African American women run by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (PCUSA) with the specific goal of training them to be schoolteachers. In 1916, a four-year college curriculum was instituted.

Chemistry class, circa 1940s. Pearl ID: islandora:309499

In 1930, the college department of Barber Memorial College merged with Scotia to form Barber-Scotia College. Barber Memorial College was founded in 1896 in Anniston, Alabama, by Margaret Marr Barber and the PCUSA Board of Missions for Freedmen. Initially a girls’ boarding school, the focus shifted to teacher training in the 1920s. A college department was added in 1924 which merged with Scotia College in 1930.

Barber-Scotia commencement ceremony, circa 1950s. Pearl ID: islandora:309493

Today, Barber-Scotia continues as a four-year college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). A notable alumnus of the school is Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, a definitive voice in womanist theology and the first Black woman ordained a minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church.

Students on campus, circa 1940s. Pearl ID: islandora:309509

Barber-Scotia College is only one of many historically Black schools and colleges established or supported by the Presbyterian Church. To aid researchers, PHS staff created the Guide to Historically Black Presbyterian Schools, which offers brief histories of each school (including alternative names the institutions have been known by) as well as a list of the society’s collection materials that speak to the history of the school.

Barber-Scotia choir at Ocean Grove, 1950. Pearl ID: islandora:309477

The Presbyterian Historical Society is committed to our efforts to document and lift up the work and witness of Black Presbyterians. Learn more here about our African American Leaders and Congregations Collecting Initiative.