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Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia Selects New State Archivist and Public Records Administrator

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

(Washington, DC) The Office of the Secretary of the District of Columbia testified before the Committee on Housing and Executive Administrative today and announced the selection of the new Archives Administrator, Lopez D. Matthews, Jr., Ph.D.  Dr. Matthews most recently served as the Manager of the Digital Production Center and Digital Production Librarian for the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and the Howard University Libraries. At Howard, Dr. Matthews managed digitization projects, including the Oliver Otis Howard Collection, the Howard University Men and Women in the Armed Forces Collection, Howard University Yearbooks, and the ROTC Photographic Collection. He wrote and received a $140,000 grant from the Institute for Museums and Library Services to create the Archives of African American Architects. Dr. Matthews was named by US Senator Cory Booker as a Senior Advisor to the leadership group of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Movement, a national initiative advocating the formation of a major US racial justice and healing commission. 


A Baltimore native, Dr. Matthews earned a B.A. in History from Coppin State University, a Master’s Degree in Public History, and a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Howard University. He has direct archival experience with the National Archives, Maryland State Archives, and with Howard University’s Archives. Dr. Matthews serves as an Adjunct Professor at Coppin State University and Bowie State University. 


Dr. Matthews wrote Howard University in the World Wars: Men and Women Serving the Nation, which was published by Arcadia Press in 2018. He is an Executive Council Member on the Board of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He serves as a commissioner on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, Advisory Board Member of the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore.


“We were very purposeful in our search,” shared Kimberly A. Bassett, Secretary of State of the District of Columbia. “We found the perfect candidate who has the expertise, management background, cultural insight, and understanding of the importance of preserving history.”  Dr. Matthews begins service on March 28th.


As the fifth Administrator for the District’s Office of Public Records and Archives, Dr. Matthews will be only the second African American Archivist to take the position. We wish to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Matthews, as he joins the Office of Public Records at an exciting and transformative time.