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African American Digital Archives

The purpose of this guide is to recommend electronic digital collections for researching African American history.

National (Library of Congress & National Museum of African American History and Culture)

The Civil Rights History Project

On May 12, 2009, the U. S. Congress authorized a national initiative by passing The Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-19). The law directs the Library of Congress (LOC) and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to conduct a survey of existing oral history collections with relevance to the Civil Rights movement to obtain justice, freedom and equality for African Americans and to record new interviews with people who participated in the struggle, over a five year period beginning in 2010.

Georgia (GA)

Civil Rights Digital Library

 The Civil Rights Digital Library promotes an enhanced understanding of the Movement by helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale.

The CRDL features a collection of unedited news film from the WSB (Atlanta) and WALB (Albany, Ga.) television archives held by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries. The initiative receives support through a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Kentucky (KY)

Civil Rights Movement In Kentucky: Oral History Project

The goal of the project is to provide an extensive base of primary resources from which to develop educational programming that will advance understanding of the history and legacy of the civil rights movement in Kentucky. This online database/catalog provides access to audio and video excerpts, and over 10,000 pages of transcriptions, all of which are full-text searchable and can be sorted by county, by subject or by decade.

Maryland (MD)

Baltimore '68: Riots and Rebirth

Baltimore '68: Riots and Rebirth Baltimore '68: For two weeks in April 1968, following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the city of Baltimore was devastated by a series of civil disturbances.  These events culminated in the deployment of armed National Guard troops as well as regular Army troops across the city.

Mississippi (MS)

Civil Rights in Mississippi

The Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive includes a selection of digitized photographs, letters, diaries, and other documents. Oral history transcripts are also available, as well as finding aids for manuscript collections.

North Carolina (NC)

Civil Rights Greensboro

Housed at UNC-Greensboro, Civil Rights Greensboro (CRG) documents local issues and efforts in the fight for civil rights from World War II to 1980. These include protests, rallies, and demonstrations; desegregation and integration activities; social justice campaigns; and the history of race relations in the city. CRG includes material relating to well-known events, such as the 1960 sit-in at the Woolworth's lunch counter, the May 1969 shootout at North Carolina A&T, and the deadly anti-Klan/Nazi protest of 1979.

However, materials in CRG also address less famous and more nebulous topics, including attempts in the 1950s to bring whites and African Americans together, issues related to school and college desegregation and integration, the rise of Black Power, and the role of specific individuals and organizations in civil rights activities. 

Pennsylvania (PA)

The Nicest Kids In Town

The Nicest Kids in Town examines the early history of American Bandstand, one of the most popular and influential shows in the history of television. 

This digital project includes 100 images and video clips related to the book project by the same name, including American Bandstand memorabilia, newspaper clippings regarding protests of American Bandstand, photographs from high school yearbooks, and video clips from American Bandstand.

Civil Rights in a Northern City: Philadelphia

A collection of digitized archival resources detailing the history of the modern civil rights movement in Philadelphia.  Through a compelling range of photographs, newspapers, manuscripts, film footage, and oral histories, Civil Rights in a Northern City: Philadelphia seeks to highlight the key people, places, and events that made Philadelphia an important part of the national struggle for racial equality and social change. 

Washington (WA)

Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project

This page is a gateway to the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project resources for exploring the civil rights activism of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest. Included are a short film, activist oral histories, research reports, newspaper reports, photographic collections, maps, historical documents.