Every February, libraries and archives across the United States from the New York Public Library to the Digital Library of Georgia showcase African American history collections in celebration of Black History Month.
We have identified several sites that will help you find these institutions and collections.
- Google Arts and Culture’s “Black History and Culture“ features African American history collections from seventy-four museums and archives. Students can explore curated exhibits whose topics range from Abolitionism from the Gilder Lehman Institute of American History to Civil Rights Photography at the High Museum of Art and to “Black Power!” from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Other highlighted institutions with extensive digitized materials related to African American history include:
- Umbra, an online portal for black history materials, provides access to a bank of 500,000 digital photographs, scripts, manuscripts, maps, news stories, film and video resources. Browse documents on African American Firsts, the Creation of the Niagara Movement, or Video from the Civil Rights Movement, or search their general catalog of digital materials. Included is a selection of materials from Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Books Library as well as materials from other Atlanta archives. For additional information on the project visit umbrasearchblog.org.
- The exhibits and collections webpage from the The African American History Month Portal connects you to African American History resources from the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The portal includes include now classic exhibits and document collections such as Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1938 and Baseball and Jackie Robinson.
- Finally, other websites, although more limited temporally, provide a deep dive into important periods of African American history. Georgia’s Civil Rights Digital Library, for instance, brings together documents, images, and video on the Civil Rights Movement from over 100 libraries and archives.
For help researching African American history and culture, contact Emory Libraries!
by Erica Bruchko, US history and African American Studies librarian