Susan D. Anderson Named Interim Chief Curator of African American Museum & Library at Oakland


The Oakland Public Library has appointed Susan D. Anderson, founder and principal at Memory House, as Interim Chief Curator at African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO), effective late October or early November.

Memory House assists museums, libraries, collectors, heritage organizations, and government agencies in their efforts to reach diverse markets and audiences.

Anderson is a curator, public historian and author with 10 plus years of experience leading teams to create exhibitions and programming, acquiring and developing collections, raising funds through individual donors, grants and public contracts, implementing successful outreach and partnering with diverse communities.

She is an expert in American history and African American history with an emphasis on ethnic, literary, bohemian, and social justice communities in California. She has recently lectured on African American History at the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, UC Berkeley, the Presidio of San Francisco, and the Richmond Museum of History.

Anderson’s previous employment has included being curator and managing director at UCLA and USC’s libraries’ Special Collections. She also was curator of the statewide, touring exhibition commemorating the centennial of Col. Allensworth State Historic Park with the California African American Museum.

“I am so thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to lead this unique and wonderful institution,” she said. “It is of vital importance that this history be preserved and made available to the community and scholars.”

AAMLO a specialized unit of the Oakland Public Library, is dedicated to the discovery, preservation, interpretation, and sharing of historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West for present and future generations.

AAMLO’s unique non-circulating reference library, its permanent museum gallery and space for changing exhibits, as well as its archives with over 160 collections documenting the history of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area are all resources for the community.

Anderson’s appointment is the first step in AAMLO’s transformation. There will be a national recruitment by a professional search firm for a permanent chief curator.

Oakland Public Library is seeking a curator in African American studies and history who has backgrounds in museum administration and collection management. The library plans to involve the community in the search process and welcomes community feedback.
Read more about the changes coming to AAMLO at


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