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Sherry Suttles Papers

Identifier: BC20-07

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Sherry Suttles Papers consist of personal letters, letters of correspondence with Barnard College and other organizations, resumes, fliers, newspaper clippings, class notes, senior thesis, brochures, pamphlets, exams, syllabi, transcripts, scholarship forms, student identification cards, a book and a DVD. The bulk of the records are from the years Suttles spent at Barnard College.


  • 1963 - 2008
  • Majority of material found within 1963 - 1975



Box 2, Folders 4 and 8 are restricted due to the Archive's policy and FERPA guidelines.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections. The Barnard Archives and Special Collections approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Reproduction Restrictions

Photocopies or scans may be made for research purposes.


Sherry Suttles (1945-) was born in Chicago, Illinois to Ann E. and Nathaniel Suttles and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Suttles joined Barnard College in 1966 as one of few Black students on Barnard’s campus. At Barnard she pursued a degree in Government, graduating in 1969. Suttles' time at Barnard was divided between her courses, student organizations, and being a socially active community member. She showed interest in the Community Schools program, which worked towards the development of schools in Harlem, as well as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1968 Sherry went on a trip to the Ivory Coast with the Africa Crossroads program. She also took part in the Student Afro-American Society and within her last year at Barnard was a founding member of the newly formed Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters, now the Barnard Organization of Soul and Solidarity (B.O.S.S.).

After graduation in 1969, Suttles went on to participate in New York’s Urban Fellowship Program. Suttles completed a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan in 1971 and held several positions within city government across the United States, including becoming the first female African American city manager of Oberlin, Ohio. She also built historical collections and established the Atlantic Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Atlantic Beach Historical Society in Horry County, South Carolina.


1.88 Linear Feet (4 full size document boxes, 1 half size document box)




This collection consists of the personal papers of Barnard College alum Sherry Suttles.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged into four series. The series arrangement is as follows:

Series 1, General Correspondence
The General Correspondence series includes letters Sherry Suttles sent to her mother, Ann Suttles, as well as letters Ann Suttles sent to Sherry Suttles. Additionally the correspondence series includes letters received by her father and her sister Billye. Further correspondence consists of letters and post cards from friends. In addition, letters received during her 1968 trip to Africa are found in this series. Additional correspondence consists of letters received from the Barnard College administration. Finally, the series contains copies of Suttles biographical materials that she had sent to a class reunion committee.

Series 2, Barnard Activities and Social Activism
The Barnard Activities and Social Activism materials are arranged in alphabetical order. The series highlights Suttles’ involvement with student organizations and her social activism during her time at Barnard College. Suttles was involved with multiple student organizations including: Students Afro-American Society, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Africa Crossroads program in which Suttles traveled to the Ivory Coast and the Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters (B.O.S.S.). Further, materials include Suttles’ post-graduation fellowship with the Urban Fellowship Program, a New York program designed to give college students the opportunity to work in research and administrative positions with top government officials for one year. Finally, this series includes Suttles’ course materials as a student at Barnard.

Series 3, Publication and Writings
The third series consists of Publications and Writings. The materials include manuscripts authored by Suttles. Additionally, this series also contains a book co-authored by Suttles. Further materials contained in this series include: fliers, pamphlets, and brochures.

Series 4, Photographs
The Photographs series contains photos of Suttles, friends and fellow students at Barnard. Additionally, there are negatives sent from her father; a photograph from the Urban Fellowship Program, and images from a Barnard Reunion in New York.

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the Barnard College Archives and Special Collections by Sherry A. Suttles in 2008.


No additions are expected.

Related Collections

Related materials providing further information about the Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters (now known as the Barnard Organization of Soul and Solidarity) may be found in BC 37.2.

Processing History

This collection was processed by Marcia Bassett and Kiran Tahir, 2011. The finding aid was written by Kiran Tahir in May 2011. The finding aid was updated by Dinah Handel, July 2015.

Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Encoding: Machine readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002.

Finding aid written in English.

Guide to Sherry Suttles Papers
In Progress
Marcia Bassett and Kiran Tahir
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2019: This finding aid was updated by Tamsin Ramjit.

Repository Details

Part of the Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States