Albany African American History Project

About the Albany African American History Project

The Albany Institute of History & Art is pleased to announce the Albany African America History Project, a museum-wide initiative that will review and assess the museum's collections to develop a strategic collecting plan to enhance the Institute's African American collections; present exhibitions, public programs, workshops, and lectures about Albany's African American History; and build collaborations between the museum and our community.

The Albany African American History Project is generously supported by the Carl E. Touhey Foundation.

Research Team

Tricia Barbagallo, Historian

Area of focus: Black experience in Albany, New York 1650 to 1877

Lacey Wilson, Public Historian

Area of focus: Black experience in Albany, New York late 1800s through present day

Help us learn more about our collections

Thirteen Black children of various ages sit posed outside on steps rolling their eyes, squishing their cheeks, and making silly faces to the camera. Thought to be at Trinity Institute in Albany in 1974.
"Making Faces" at Trinity Institute in 1974 (?)

This project will rely on contributions from community members to be successful. As we progess through the project, we will share updates and ask for help through our website and other communications. 

This spring, Lacey Wilson will be visiting different community events in Albany to talk about the Albany African American History Project and share photographs from the museum's collection that we need help identifying people, places, events, etc. We'd love to hear from you!

Can you help us learn more about this photograph? We think it may have been taken at Trinity Institute in Albany, New York in 1974. What more could you tell us?

Contact Lacey Wilson at wilsonl(at) or call (518) 463-4478 ext. 431.


Research Spotlight

Follow along with Public Historian Lacey Wilson as she explores the archives and collections and shares her discoveries in a special series we're calling "Research Spotlight".


From the Archives

Young Black Man leans back in a chair relaxing Thought to be at Trinity Institute in Albany in 1974.
After a Hard Day's Work at Trinity Institute in July 1974 (?)

"After a Hard Day's Work" July 1974

Here we have a photograph of a young man relaxing "after a hard day's work" (written on the back of the photograph) that is part of our archive collection.  This unidentified photograph was found within boxes related to Trinity Institute that was dated July 1974. 

We do not know who this young man is. We suspect this picture's location is Trinity Institute, a local institution that offered many recreation and social services in the South End of Albany from 1912 through the 1970s. This was a fantastic resource for the many immigrants and Black residents of South End and many political groups like The Brothers.  We do not know what work he accomplished before leaning back in this chair.  He has a bandana in his hand, and he is looking directly into the camera.  Was he assisting one of the local programs at Trinity or participating?   

Another question is, who took this photo? A friend, a family member? A mentor? An employee at Trinity? Or a combination of those titles?


Do you and your family have memories of Trinity Institution?  Did you attend or work at the Lawson Lake Camp?  Did you work for or receive social services through their food programs?  Did you participate in any of the many organizations that fought for Civil rights in Albany? Many of those groups met at Trinity.  There are so many stories with Trinity in South End Albany to be learned about, and this picture is just a start.  

We are eager to find out more as this project continues!


Questions or comments?

Reach out to Lacey Wilson, our Public Historian at


Additional Resources

Check out these additional online resources:


  • Mapping Inequality Redlining in New Deal America Map of Albany shows differences in neighborhoods between 1935 and 1940

How does this map explore past perceptions of these neighborhoods?  How are these neighborhoods perceived now?[nbsp] 


  • 98 Acres in Albany has a Story Map that dives into the creation of the Empire State Plaza.  Here are also three notable stories that focus on Black history in those neighborhoods tagged under Great Migration.  

How did you previously learn about the neighborhoods that became the Plaza?  What further questions do you have about this changed space?

Questions or comments?

Reach out to Lacey Wilson, our Public Historian at