Dorothy Louise Porter Wesley (May 25, 1905 – December 17, 1995) was an African-American librarian, bibliographer and curator, who built the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University into a world-class research collection. She published numerous bibliographies on African-American history.
By her married name of Porter, she was appointed in 1930 as the librarian at Howard University. Over the next 40 years, she was key to building up what is now the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at the university as one of the world’s best collection of library materials for Black/Africana history and culture.
Because of her limited budget, she appealed directly to publishers and book dealers to donate specific books to the library. She developed a worldwide network of contacts that reached from the US to Brazil, Mexico and Europe. Her friends and contacts included Alain Locke, Rayford Logan, Dorothy Peterson, Langston Hughes, and Amy Spingarn. The collection is international, with books and documents in many languages. It includes music and academic studies on linguistics, as well as literature and scholarship by and about Black people in the United States and elsewhere.
In addition, she was instrumental in ensuring scholars, such as Edison Carneiro, and statesmen, such as Kwame Nkrumah and Eric Williams, visited the university to increase students’ interest in their African heritage.