Finding Aid for the
Constance Hill Marteena Collection

Bennett College Archives, Bennett College for Women

Greensboro, North Carolina

Summary Information

Title: Constance Hill Marteena Collection

Date/Date Range: 1933-1977

Extent: 5.42 linear feet

Series number: A104

Repository: Bennett College Archives, Thomas F. Holgate Library, Bennett College for Woman, Greensboro, North Carolina

Collection Scope and Content Note: The Constance Hill Marteena Collection consists of professional and personal correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, travel information, playbills, notebooks from her academic career, and rough drafts from her book, The Lengthening Shadow of a Woman.

Provenance: This collection is comprised of documents that were generated from the personal, academic, and professional life of Constance Hill Marteena.

Historical Note: Constance Hill Marteena was born in 1903 in Richmond, Virginia, to Irene Robison Hill and Reuben T. Hill.  Reuben T. Hill who was the son of slaves William and Ellen Hill was the first cashier of the first bank owned and operated by African Americans The True Reformers Bank in Richmond, Virginia.  Constance Hill Marteena had four other siblings Reuben T. Hill Jr., Thomas Arnold Hill, William Daniel Hill, and Irene Naomi (Hill) Simmons. Thomas Arnold Hill (1888-1947) worked for the National Urban League from 1914-1940 and was instrumental in heading up the Chicago branch. William Daniel Hill (1890-1945) worked for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance from 1919 until the year of his death in 1945. Do to his extensive work with the Boys and Girls club a recreation center in Durham N.C. was named in his honor.

Constance Hill Marteena studied as an undergraduate at Hartshorn Memorial College (now Virginia Union University), she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Library Science in 1933 from Hampton Institute.  She studied librarianship at the Graduate Library School, the University of Chicago, where she received a Masters of Arts Degree in 1946. She completed post graduate work at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1958 and, the Famous Writers School in the early 70’s.

Her professional career consisted of working as the director of public information at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University from 1929-1937, Secretary to President and Director of Public Information at Bennett College 1937-1939 and, Head Librarian and an Instructor for Bennett College from September 1, 1939-1967. During her tenure as head librarian of Bennett College she was elected President of the North Carolina Negro Librarian Association from 1952-1954. While under her leadership the integration of the North Carolina Negro Librarian Association and North Carolina Librarians Association took place bringing to an end segregation of professional library organizations in North Carolina. The North Carolina Negro Librarian Association existed from 1934-1954. NCNLA was the first library association run by African Americans that was accepted by the American Librarian Association.

Constance Hill Marteena was married to Jerald M. Marteena (1910-1974) who was the Dean of Administration, Dean of Engineering, and a professor at North Carolina A&T State University from 1929-1974. She served as an Executive Committee member for United Day Care Services. She was a charter member of the Alpha Phi chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha at North Carolina A&T State University and a charter member of the Beta Iota Omega Graduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha.   Constance often contributed her writing skills to the Library Review The official journal of the North Carolina Library Association. She also wrote articles for the New York Times as well as for the Greensboro News and Record.  Her greatest literary work was The Lengthening Shadow of a Woman: The Biography of Charlotte Hawkins Brown, founder and first president of the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina. Other writings to her credit are Afro American Women in Art: Their Achievements in Sculpture and Painting, as well as initiating the publication Who’s Who among Black Librarians in 1950s.

Access and Use

Acquisition Information: This collection has formally become the property of Bennett College for Women.

Access Restrictions:This collection is open to researchers under library restrictions. All access to these materials requires an appointment with the library archivist. All materials within the collection labeled restricted will not be open for usage.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Bennett College assumes no responsibility.

Copyright:  The nature of the Thomas F. Holgate Library Archive means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Thomas F. Holgate Library Archive claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, U.S.C.). The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The Archives and Special Collections assume no responsibility of infringement of copyright or literary property rights.

Preferred Citation:[Identification of Item], Constance Hill Marteena Collection, A104 Series, Bennett Collection Archives, Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Arrangement: This collection consists of 5 boxes divided into 5 series. Each series is arranged in alphabetical order.

Processed by: Marcellaus A. Joiner

Series I: Education - Documents generated by the educational endeavors of Constance Hill Marteena.

Series II: Bennett College Head Librarian – Documents generated by work career of Constance Hill Marteena.

Series III: Lengthening Shadow of a Woman – Documents generated by the research and planning of the biography of Charlotte Hawkins Brown.

Series IV: Personal Papers – Documentation from the personal life of Constance Hill Marteena.

Series V: Board of Directors/Correspondence/General/Providence Baptist Church - Documents generated from Constance Hill Marteena time served on the Board of Directors for United Day Care Services, Librarian for Providence Baptist Church, general materials, and correspondence.

Description of Series