Finding Black History: Umbra Search and Google Arts and Culture

Umbra, a search tool from the University of Minnesota, gets its name from the Umbra Society of the early 1960s, a group of Black writers and poets who helped create the Black Arts Movement. This Umbra Search image features Chester Himes’ novel The Big Gold Dream (1960).

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.

  • 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

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