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Our Mission

The Franklin Research Center collects, preserves and promotes the use of published and unpublished primary sources for the exploration, understanding and advancement of scholarship of the history and culture of Africa and people of the African Diaspora in the Americas.

Our History

The Franklin Research Center is a special collection repository, research division and educational outreach center within the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. The Center was established in 1995 when Dr. John Hope Franklin donated his personal and professional papers to the Rubenstein Library, thereby furthering the library's mission to preserve primary sources relevant to the experience of people of African descent and to make those sources available to students, scholars and lay researchers. 

Inspired by Franklin's scholastic legacy and appreciation for the role of archives, the Franklin Research Center firmly believes that the best kind of history is inclusive of all participants. To this end, the center collects diverse primary resources including:

  • audiovisual materials
  • ephemera
  • manuscripts
  • oral histories
  • personal papers
  • rare books and first editions

The Center also hosts public events throughout the year, and curated exhibitions to share its collections and to foster understanding of the rich history and culture of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Special Projects and Partnerships 

The Movement History Initiative