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Primary Sources: African-Americans: General - Online
Access crucial documents covering the lives of African Americans during the rise of segregation and Jim Crow.
This collection covers many topical categories such as the growing body of work by African- American writers; the portrayal of African-Americans in art and literature; religion; race; early histories of slavery; the Civil War; Reconstruction; and others. This archive contains varied perspectives on subjects including but not limited to:
African-American Civil Rights; African-American Women; Political Restoration of the South; Social Conditions in the South; Separate but Equal; The Race 'Problem'; Theorizing the Origins of Race; Minstrel Shows and Satire; Race Relations and Southern States; White Supremacy Movements and Groups; Back-to-Africa Movement; Suffrage/Right to Vote; and Lynching.
And on organizations such as: African Methodist Episcopal Church; Baptist Associations; Ku Klux Klan; and Presbyterian Church.
Access crucial documents covering the lives of African Americans in the years following the Civil War.
This collection covers many topical categories such as Reconstruction by state; works by African- American writers on race, slavery, and civil rights; the portrayal of African Americans in the Arts; early histories of the Civil War and slavery; and others.
This archive contains varied perspectives on subjects including but not limited to:
African-American Activism; Causes of the Civil War; Political Restoration of the South; Legal Status of African Americans; Congress and Radical Reconstruction; Discrimination and Segregation; Theorizing the Origins of Race; Minstrel Show Music, Scripts, etc.; Education in the South; African-Americans in Office; Back-to-Africa Movement; Suffrage/Right to Vote; Lynchings and Massacres;
And on organizations such as: Baptist Church; Freedmen's Bureau; Ku Klux Klan;
Presbyterian Church; The Confederacy; Republican Party
Black Thought and Culture is a landmark electronic collection of approximately 100,000 pages of non-fiction writings by major American black leaders—teachers, artists, politicians, religious leaders, athletes, war veterans, entertainers, and other figures—covering 250 years of history. In addition to the most familiar works, Black Thought and Culture presents a great deal of previously inaccessible material, including letters, speeches, prefatory essays, political leaflets, interviews, periodicals, and trial transcripts. The ideas of over 1,000 authors present an evolving and complex view of what it is to be black in America.
A collection of 2,800 full-length African American videotaped oral histories that is continually growing. It includes video and fully searchable transcripts created by The HistoryMakers through their interviews with African American leaders across a broad range of disciplines and subject areas, including Art, Civics, Education, Law, Religion, STEM, and more. These testimonies illuminate the stories of African American men and women living in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries who have made important contributions to America and the world.
"This digital collection illuminates specific moments in the history of Ohio's African-Americans and provides an overview of their experiences during the time period 1850 to 1920 in the words of the people that lived them. The story of the African-American Experience in Ohio 1850-1920 is more diverse and complex than this collection can adequately portray. All we can hope is to provide the researcher with a place to begin. "
"The Avery Research Center houses a variety of oral history interviews, largely documenting African American experiences in the Lowcountry. Oral history projects include the Avery Normal Institute documentation effort and the Sea Island Preservation Initiative."
" Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the primary purpose of this documentary project was to record and preserve the living memory of African American life during the age of legal segregation in the American South, from the 1890s to the 1950s."
"As part of the United States' Bicentennial celebration, the Washington State Archives undertook an oral history project which focused on the Black community in Seattle and King County. These 69 interviews were conducted by Esther Hall Mumford in 1975 and 1976, and include audio, transcripts, and negatives. Transcriptions were created shortly after the interviews took place. Negatives can include portraits of interviewees, as well as images taken of photographs, clippings, and other items belonging to or relating to interviewees.
While these interviews were conducted in the mid-1970s, interviewees discuss events as early as the 1880s regarding homesteaders, farmers, strikebreakers, and race discrimination. The majority highlight the years between 1900 and 1945, and relate to early housing, employment, education, recreation, and the changing Black community in greater Seattle."
"The mission of the Black Archives of Mid-America is to collect, preserve and make available to the public materials documenting the social, economic, political and cultural histories of persons of African descent in the central United States, with particular emphasis in the Kansas City, Missouri region. Black Archives of Mid-America is an educational resource and provides access to its collections for research, exhibition and publication to honor our community heritage and to catalyze public awareness."
Provides access to transcribed historical documents about Black Loyalists during the American Revolution. It includes personal accounts, letters, and official documents. It also provides a list of secondary sources.
BPL's Digital Collections were created to preserve and make available the local history of Birmingham and the surrounding area. These resources may help students, teachers, genealogists, historians and interested citizens learn more about the history of Birmingham.Description from site (BPL = Birmingham Public Library)
"... largely composed of digital versions of paper documents from the Combined Arms Research Library collections and student papers produced at the US Army Command and General Staff College. We have recently partnered with several Army educational and historical organizations whose collections appear here also. "
"Relying on the expertise of distinguished curators and scholars, Digital Schomburg provides access to trusted information, interpretation, and scholarship on the global black experience 24/7. Users worldwide can find, in this virtual Schomburg Center, exhibitions, books, articles, photographs, prints, audio and video streams, and selected external links for research in the history and cultures of the peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora."
"These oral interviews reveal how leaders are nurtured, and how historical circumstances shape them. They are stories of identity -- stories about the self, stories about the group, and stories about value and meaning. They link the private and the public -- the personal and the professional."
"10,000 hours of audio and video recordings and thousands of documents about social justice movements locally, nationally, and internationally from the 1960s to the present. The Archives features speeches of movement leaders and community activists, protests and demonstrations, cultural currents of rebellion and resistance. "
"...aims to document the impact of the civil rights movement on area residents. This service-learning project was established in the fall of 2012 by CNU history professor Dr. Laura Puaca, in conjunction with two community organizations, the Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center and the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. Most of the interviews were carried out by students enrolled in Dr. Puaca’s History 341 class, “The Long Civil Rights Movement.” Students worked in pairs to prepare, conduct, and transcribe an interview with a member of the local community.
This collection contains both the original audio files as well as the interview transcripts, which have been reviewed and edited by the students and HROHP staff. Transcripts were also sent to each interviewee for review. The transcripts seek to remain faithful to the original content of each interview while assisting readability (eliminating false starts and filler words such as "uh," providing additional clarifying information when necessary, etc.).
These interviews are part of an on-going and permanent collection that will grow over time."
"... is a collection of primary resources from HBCU libraries and archives. It includes several thousand scanned pages and represents HBCU libraries first collaborative effort to make a historic collection digitially available. Collections are contributed from member libraries of the Historically Black College and University Library Alliance. "
"Krueger-Scott is the largest collection of oral history interviews conducted with African-American residents of Newark who came to the city during the Great Migration, as well as those whose local roots stretch back generations. The faculty, staff and graduate students at Rutgers University-Newark who have worked on the collection in collaboration with local cultural institutions are proud to have helped preserve, archive, and make public these remarkable oral narratives that describe an as yet unwritten history of twentieth century African-American life."
"Alabama State University has created a digital library to highlight its photographic and archival collection, representing items contained in personal and family papers, organizational records, and other manuscript collections acquired by Alabama State University. The images featured on this web site strongly reflect the history of Alabama State University, the modern civil rights movement, and the Black experience in central Alabama. They have been selected to allow the public an opportunity to glimpse the rich visual materials housed in the Archives at the Levi Watkins Learning and Resource Center, Alabama State University. "
"... gives a panoramic and eclectic review of African American history and culture from the early 19th through the early 20th centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900. Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummel, and Emanuel Love."
"The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the incomparable African American collections of the Library of Congress. Displaying more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings, this is the largest black history exhibit ever held at the Library, and the first exhibition of any kind to feature presentations in all three of the Library's buildings."
"...aims to identify and organize uncatalogued archival collections that chronicle Black Chicago between the 1930s and 1970s, in order to increase their use by researchers and the general public." Mostly provides access to finding aids for archival materials, but selected items are available digitally in the section "Selected Items from the Archives."
"The collection consists of the contents of a photographic album entitled "Portraits of Members," containing 117 photographs of men, women, and children, both singly and in groups. The album might have been used by clients in the studio to select the backdrop and props they wanted in their photographs. The majority of the subjects appear to be African-American. The photographs represent the work of Michael Francis Blake from the 1910s to his death in 1934."
"What began in the early years of Howard University as a small collection of antislavery books and pamphlets is now one of the world’s premiere centers for the study of the Black experience. It has made possible new research and enabled scholars to probe more deeply into the complexities of Black history and culture. In linking its past accomplishments to its plans for the future, the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center continues in its unswerving commitment to preserve the legacy of people of African descent for this and future generations. "
Search or browse collections. Includes online images of some materials. Covers a wide variety of topics in African American history, including such topics as Civil Rights, Literature, Politics, Music and much more.
"The National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP) is the premier resource for oral history interviews with African American elders who shaped the 20th century.
Co-founded in 2001 as a nonprofit educational organization by educator and philanthropist Camille O. Cosby, Ed.D. and Emmy award-winning journalist Renee Poussaint,
NVLP has conducted videotaped interviews with more than 250 pioneers and acclaimed leaders."
"The Green Book was a travel guide published between 1936 and 1966 that listed hotels, restaurants, bars, gas stations, etc. where black travelers would be welcome." This NYPL website provides information about the book as well as access to 21 volumes from 1937-1964.
"Several thousand items ranging from historical documents and rare visual materials to contemporary photo-journalism, relating to the entirety of African American history from the 16th century to the present; selected in the course of developing the NYPL website "African American Migration Experience." "
Includes audio from a variety of NYPR programs including people such as: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. , Nelson Mandela, Roy Wilkins, Marian Anderson, Fannie Lou Hamer and others. Covers various time periods.
"...is an initiative to ensure that the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans will be preserved and presented with dignity. A Griot (pronounced gree-oh) is a storyteller, a position of honor in West African tradition, who hands down family and community history from one generation to the next. All interviews recorded as part of the Griot Initiative will be archived at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in addition to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress."
"Charles "Teenie" Harris (1908–1998) photographed Pittsburgh's African American community from c. 1935 to c. 1975. His archive of nearly 80,000 images is one of the most detailed and intimate records of the black urban experience known today." A selection of these photo's is available online.
This site provides three different modes of access: Browse Mode - "provides access to all the primary material in the archive -- texts, images, songs, 3-D objects, film clips, &c. -- one at a time." Search Mode - "allows you to search all the primary material at once." Interpret Mode - "includes an interactive timeline, virtual exhibits designed to suggest ways of exploring and understanding the primary material, as well as lesson plans for teachers and student projects. Usually the best place to enter is the BROWSE MODE, which gives you the most direct access to the story of Stowe's story as an American cultural phenomenon." Use this site to research Uncle Tom's Cabin; site includes reviews, articles and numerous other resources..
"In 1965, Robert Penn Warren wrote a book, now out of print, entitled Who Speaks for the Negro? To research this publication, he traveled the country and spoke with a variety of people who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement. He spoke with nationally-known figures as well as people working in the trenches of the Movement. The volume contains many of the transcripts from these conversations. The Who Speaks for the Negro? Archive contains digitized versions of the original reel-to-reel recordings, as well as copies of the correspondence, transcripts, and other printed materials related to his research for the provocatively-titled book. "