Below is a list of archival collections dedicated to preserving African American history. For questions about archive research, please consult the Enhancing Research Practices guide, or contact the archivist.
African-American writing, music, and art during the 1920s and 1930s are well represented in the collections of the Library of Congress. This guide presents the Library's resources as well as links to external Web sites on the Harlem Renaissance and a bibliography.
The Schomburg Center of the New York Public Library, collects preserves, and provides access to materials documenting Black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of peoples of African descent. The manuscripts and archival collections are strongest for the 20th century in the areas of the performing arts, women, Harlem, African American writers, civil rights organizations and activities.
The Center for Contemporary Black History (CCBH) promotes the critical study of Black history, culture, and politics within urban America since 1900, with an emphasis on understanding the central role of Black intellectuals and public leaders in the making of modern society. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the Center utilizes the educational and research tools of both traditional disciplines and new media technology to organize and enrich the study of contemporary Black American history.
Housed at Duke University, the Franklin Research Center is a repository for African and African American studies documentation. Founded in 1995 with the support of its namesake, the historian John Hope Franklin, the Research Center collects, preserves, and promotes the use of materials relevant to the history of Africa and people of African descent.
At the AAAMC, you will find materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions primarily from the post-World War II era. Our collections highlight popular, religious, and classical music, with genres ranging from blues and gospel to R&B and contemporary hip hop. The AAAMC also houses extensive materials related to the documentation of Black radio.
The Inez Moore Parker Archives and Research Center contains manuscripts, journals, scrapbooks, photographs, clippings, audiovisual material, and artifacts pertaining to the history of Johnson C. Smith University, the Historic West End community surrounding the university, and the African American experience in Charlotte, N.C. In addition to our physical holdings, Digital Smith is the online presence for the Archives and currently contains over 8,000 digitized items including photographs, documents, news publications, oral histories, and audio files pertaining to the history of JCSU and the surrounding communities, its affiliations with the Presbyterian Church, and its students, organizations, alumni, faculty, and administration.
Housed in Tulane University, it is the oldest independent archive specializing in the history of African Americans and other Ethnic Minorities in the U.S. The holdings include the papers of artists, educators, authors, business leaders, clergy, lawyers, factory workers, farmers and musicians. The collection contains approximately 250,000 photographs dating from 1859.
A list of archival collections and finding aids pertaining to local and national history of African American life and culture. These collections are located at UNC-Charlotte, J. Murrey Atkins Library - Archives and Special Collections.
Zora Neale Hurston, (1891-1960), was an African American anthropologist, folklorist, and author of African American literature. This collection, consisting of manuscripts, documents and photos saved from a burn barrel by a friend after Hurston’s death, was given to the University in the 1960s. As such, UF’s African American Special Collections is the home of Zora Neale Hurston’s last works and the remnants of her life.
Digital archive of the papers of W.E.B. DuBois from the University of Massachusetts. Includes over 100,000 items of correspondence (more than three quarters of the papers), speeches, articles, newspaper columns, nonfiction books, research materials, book reviews, pamphlets and leaflets, petitions, novels, essays, forewords, student papers, manuscripts of pageants, plays, short stories and fables, poetry, photographs, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, videotapes, audiotapes, and miscellaneous materials.
Established in 1991, the AAAMC is a repository of materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions from the post-World War II era. The collections highlights popular, religious, and classical music, with genres ranging from blues and gospel to R&B and contemporary hip hop. The AAAMC also houses extensive materials related to the documentation of Black radio.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) Library is devoted to collecting and providing access to resources that support scholarship in African American history, culture, and the African Diaspora. The Library also supports research in genealogy and family history.
Founded as the Western States Black Research Center (WSBRC), MCLM contains over two million rare books, films, documents, photographs, artifacts, and works of art related to the history and culture of African Americans in the United States, with special focus on Southern California and the American West.
The largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest; contains over 75,000 books, many of them rare, 15,000 reels of microfilm, over 4,000 clipping files, and 175 manuscripts and archival collections. This collection includes materials on African-Americans throughout the Diaspora, but the primary focus is on African-American History in Chicago and Illinois.