|Mark E. Mitchell,
collector, speaker, appraiser and dealer is considered to be one of the
nation's foremost authorities in the acquisition, research, marketing,
and preservation of original African American manuscripts, documents,
newspapers, photographs, books and artifacts. Mark is also a noted
dealer in early American newspapers and United States coins.
Mr. Mitchell is a popular speaker on African American History,
and has delivered major addresses before the United Negro College Fund,
Oakwood College faculty and students, the J. Franklyn Bourne
Bar Association, the Newseum, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,
and The National Press Club to name but a few. He has also made numerous appearances on national
television, radio and in print media. Mr. Mitchell is one of the
few nationally-recognized appraisers in the field of Black Americana.
Dr. Dorothy I. Height and Mark E. Mitchell
THE MARK E. MITCHELL COLLECTION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN
Mr. Mitchell has assembled a largely visual, museum-quality collection of
manuscripts, documents, newspapers, letters, photographs, and books relating
to African American History in its entirety. The Mark E.
Mitchell Collection is considered one of the nation's finest and certainly most
comprehensive private archives by such noted authorities as Lonnie
G. Bunch III, founding director, National Museum of African
American History and Culture, Dr.
James Oliver Horton, noted author and former George Washington University
the late Dr.
Dorothy Height, former President of the National Council of Negro
Women (NCNW), Wyatt Houston Day, nationally
known collector, dealer and appraiser, and Art Monk, Charles Mann,
Darrell Green, former NFL Washington Redskins football stars.
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Mark E.
and (then) Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) at a private
dinner on March 26, 2003 to celebrate the founding of the National
Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)
that is scheduled to open on the Mall in Washington, DC in 2015
In 1991, Mark learned about educator
Carter G. Woodson's lifelong concern that much of African American History had,
over the centuries, been marginalized, revised, and in many cases,
virtually omitted from the nation’s history curricula and textbooks. He
decided to address this ongoing problem by creating a collection that
would graphically present the true history of Africans in America by
documenting and exhibiting their struggles, accomplishments,
contributions and courage over the past five centuries. Mark believes
that this rich history and culture must be preserved, taught and
remembered so that today's and future generations of African Americans
can truly appreciate the truth about their identity and legacy.
in early 2001, Mark worked closely with Congressmen John Lewis and J.C.
Watts, as well as Senators Sam Brownback and Max Cleland
in creating both the impetus and legislation that launched the Smithsonian
National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Original pieces from The Mitchell Collection were
critical in stimulating the
interest and action necessary to initiate the museum project.
R E A S O F E X P E R T I S E
Mr. Mitchell is highly regarded by many of the nation's most prestigious
institutions. Since 1980, he has consulted with The Library of
Congress--its leading authority has stated that Mark is "the person
I turn to when I need additional expert opinion regarding the value,
scarcity and authenticity of early newspapers and related documents and
auction house regularly refers its inquiries concerning antique newspapers
and African American historical documents and periodicals to Mr. Mitchell
for authentication and appraisal. Likewise, Christie's in
New York has been quoted as saying that “....he is the expert in this area."
Mark is a native of Washington, DC, and completed his
undergraduate work at the University of Maryland. He is a retired Commander
in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and plays jazz saxophone and flute
|Mark's professional associations include:
Organization of American Historians
International Society of Appraisers
Mark with renowned jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson
Mark E. Mitchell speaking during the grand opening of a
Collection exhibit at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. To his
right is a framed 1941 typed letter signed by Dr. Charles Drew, pioneer
in the development of blood plasma
Lonnie G. Bunch III, Director of the Smithsonian's
National Museum of African American History and Culture, stressing the
depth and importance of Mark's unique collection
Commander Mark E. Mitchell, USNR (Ret.) at
the 1999 commissioning of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Alex
The Bill to create the National Museum of African
American History and Culture is introduced in the United States Senate. Left to right
are Senator Cleland (seated), Cong. J.C. Watts, Sen. Edwards, Sen.
Brownback, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Cong. John Lewis (speaking), Sen.
Santorum, Frederick Douglass IV, and Mark E. Mitchell, parts of whose
African American Collection are displayed behind the legislators.
Mark with his favorite keyboard superstar, Herbie
Thelonious Monk, Jr., jazz percussionist and Chairman
of the Board of Trustees of the Thelonious Monk Institute
Mark with actor Ben Vereen holding the original contract for Alex
Haley's "Before this Anger", the manuscript that became the
legendary book, "ROOTS"
Mark on tenor saxophone jamming with noted
trumpet player Tommy Williams
Mark E. Mitchell with Ambassador
George Haley (younger brother of author and journalist Alex Haley), Mrs.
Haley, and other dignitaries at
the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference in Bermuda 2002
Mark with renowned saxophonist
at Blues Alley in Washington, DC