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African American Digital Archives

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

African American Perspectives

"African American Perspectives" gives a panoramic and eclectic review of African American history and culture and is primarily comprised of two collections in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division: the African American Pamphlet Collection and the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection with a date range of 1822 through 1909. Most were written by African-American authors, though some were written by others on topics of particular importance in African-American history.

Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummel, Emanuel Love, Lydia Maria Child, Kelly Miller, Charles Sumner, Mary Church Terrell, and Booker T. Washington, among others.

Slave Narratives

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938

This collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law Database

This HeinOnline Collection brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery.

Our cases go into the 20th century, because long after slavery was ended, there were still court cases based on issues emanating from slavery. The library has hundreds of pamphlets and books written about slavery—defending it, attacking it or simply analyzing it. We have gathered every English-language legal commentary on slavery published before 1920.