The Selena Warren Wheeler Collection
The Selena Warren Wheeler Collection is a collection of books on African-American life and history. The approximately 7,400-volume collection contains 900 fiction, 5,000 nonfiction, 500 reference and 1,000 biographical works. Additionally, there is a vertical file containing biographical and topical material on local and national African-Americans. It is recognized as one of the best African-American collections in the South.
If you would like further information about the Wheeler Collection or would like assistance in using the collection for research, please contact:
Stanford L. Warren Branch
1201 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27701
Selena Warren Wheeler
A Durham native, Selena Warren Wheeler was the second director of the Durham Colored Library/Stanford L. Warren Public Library (1932-1945). Mrs. Wheeler attended Howard University and Hampton Institute, where she received her bachelor's degree in library science. She continued the public service legacy of her parents, Dr. Stanford L. Warren and library trustee Julia Warren. She married John H. Wheeler, also a trustee of the library. Under her leadership, library services were expanded to include extended hours, bookmobile service and increased use of the library as a community meeting place. Programs and activities implemented by her staff include the organization of the Children's Room, Saturday Morning Story Hour, Story Telling Institute, Book Exhibits, Art Exhibits by Negro Artists, Lincoln Convalescent Library Service, Educational and Recreational Movies, and Book Review Forums. However, her most lasting contribution was to recognize the importance of the Negro Collection and designate it as a Special Collection.
Mrs. Wheeler served on the Board of Trustees of the Stanford L. Warren Public Library from 1946-1966. The black and white library systems merged in 1966. She served as a member of the Durham County Library Board from 1978-1985. On April 8, 1990, the Negro Collection was named the Selena Warren Wheeler Collection to honor her and her staff.
Last Update: July 1, 2008