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Africana Studies: Primary Sources


Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent
Includes sound and visual materials from the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.

African American Heritage
From the National Archives, includes and intrroduction to African American research and primary source materials

Afro-American History Series
Reproduction of documents relating to Black history in America
   Main Micro Fiche 1182(58 microfiche)

The Bayard Rustin Papers (microform)
A civil rights activist and colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King.
    Online through Black Freedom Struggle

Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865
Main Micro Film 2374
   Guide to the Papers: Main Micro Index E449 .B625 1981
   Also online through Black Studies Center

Black Culture Collection
Selected books, pamphlets, theses, and periodicals from the Trevor-Arnett Library at Atlanta University. 
   Main Micro Film #1701-1881
   Guide: Main Micro Index GN645 B55 guide

The Black Women Oral History Project : From the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College,
   Main Libr E185.86 .B544 1991

Black Workers in the Era of the Great Migration, 1916-1929 (microform)
   Main Micro Film #2536-2560
   Guide: Main Micro Index E185.8 .B562 guide

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
More than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves.

Credo (Du Bois Online)-released July 2011
The digital collections at UMass Amherst; includes Du Bois' photos, correspondence, essays, lectures, papers and notes, and documents related to the Niagara Movement and the early history of the NAACP.

Documenting the American South
A collection of primary resources for the study of Southern history, literature, & culture.

New Deal Agencies and Black America in the 1930s (microform)
   Main Micro Film #1941-1965
   Guide: Main Micro Index JK723.A34 N48 guide

Southern Life and Slavery, Plantations Records


Civil Rights

Black Freedom Struggle
Primary source materials from organizations, including SCLC, ACOA, and Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and personal papers, including Claude Barnett and Bayard Rustin

Civil Rights During the Johnson Administration, 1963-1969: A Collection From the Holdings of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, Austin Texas. (microform)
    Main Micro Film #2490-2535

Civil Rights During the Kennedy Administration, 1961-1963: A collection From the Holdings of the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Massachusetts(microform)   
 Main Micro Film #2601-2619
   Guide: Main Micro Index JC599 .U5 C567 guide

Historical Publications of the United States Commission on Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall Law Library
"The Marshall Law Library has been digitizing the historic documents of this important Commission, which since 1957, has attempted to examine issues dealing with race, ethnicity, religion, and, more recently, sexual orientation."

NAACP Papers: Complete Papers
In 6 parts, includes the entire collection formerly on microfilm.

NAACP Papers: Guide to the collection

The Papers of the Congress of Racial Equality: Addendum, 1944-1968 (microform)
 Main Micro Film #2276-2300
   Guide: Main Micro Index E185.61 C67P3 Suppl. guide

   Guide:Main Micro Index E185.61 N3P3

Papers of the Revolutionary Action Movement, 1962-1996

President Truman's Committee on Civil Rights (microform)
 Main Micro Film #1991-2000
   Guide: Main Micro Index E185.61 .P647 guide

Records of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 1954-1970
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as president of the SCLC from its founding in 1957 until his assassination in April 1968.

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
A good source for researching federal civil rights policy, this site includes a FAQ page, committee and task reports. A good source when researching federal civil rights policy.

FBI Files

FBI: FOIA/Privacy Website
Provides access to information from the FBI’s Central Records System, including previously inaccessible files on civil rights figures.

FBI File on Paul Robeson (microform)
   Main Micro Film #2391-2392
   Guide to the file is at Main Micro Index E185.97 R63F4 guide

Federal Surveillance of African Americans, 1920-1984

Federal Surveillance of Afro-Americans (1917-1925): The First World War, The Red Scare, and The Garvey Movement (microform)
   Main Micro Film #1966-1990
   Guide to the collection is at Main Micro Index E185.61 .F434 1985 guide

Marcus Garvey: FBI Investigation File (microform)
FBI file papers, including clipping from the New York Times, dating from 1921-1971
   Main Micro Film #1615
   Sample documents available at: 
   The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association..  

The Martin Luther King, Jr. FBI File (microform)
   Main Micro Film #3092 (25 reels)
   Guide: Main Micro Index E185.97.K5 M34 guide

Newspaper and Serials

Accessible Archives
Includes African American newspapers published in the 18th and 19th century

African American Newspapers (1827-1998)
Full text of more than 270 newspapers

Chicago Defender
Full text published from 1910-1975

New Amsterdam News
Full text published from 1922-1993

African American History in the Press, 1851-1899: From the Coming of the Civil War to the Rise of Jim Crow as Reported and Illustrated in Selected Newspapers of the Time.
    Main Ref E185.2 .A25 1996

Antebellum Black Newspapers: indices to New York Freedom's Journal (1827-1829), The Rights of All (1829), The Weekly Advocate (1837), and The Colored American (1837-1841)
These newspapers are available in full text through Accessible Archives or African American Newspapers
    Main Ref E185.5 .J33

Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution Through the Civil War, Series C, Selections from the holdings of the Library of Congress, part 1 [microform]
   Main Micro Film #3086 no. 1-8
   Guide: Main Microform Index HD1471 .U5 R45 ser. C

Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution Through the Civil War, Series E, Selections from the University of Virginia Library, University of Virginia, part 2 [microform]
   Main Micro Film #3087 no. 1-26
   Guide: Main Micro. Index HD1471.U5 R45 ser. E, pt. 2-3


For other national and international newspapers, see Databases and Indexes in this guide.

Other Sources

Other sources at Bowdoin College

African Studies Resources in the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library

Primary Sources at Bates or Colby

Papers of the NAACP. Part 21, Relations with the modern civil rights movement, 1956-1965 (microform) 22 reels and printed guide

Records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1895-1992 (microform) 26 reels and printed guide

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