African American Manuscripts

Introduction

Among the 150,000 printed volumes and more than 11 million items of manuscript and archival collections of the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library is a wealth of material concerning African American history and culture. Nearly four centuries of the African American experience is documented in a range of primary sources including:

  • films
  • ledgers
  • letters
  • lists
  • oral histories
  • photographs
  • rare books

Our guides are arranged in four main eras of African American history:

  • Colonial and Antebellum
  • Emancipation and Reconstruction
  • Jim Crow
  • Post-WWII

The Franklin Research Center is continually working to expand the scope and depth of its African American holdings. The Rubenstein Library is especially interested in items related African American life in the Jim Crow South and documentary materials concerning African American social and intellectual thoughts and movements in the post-World War II civil rights era