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African American History


Special Collections at Binghamton University

Binghamton University Libraries' Special Collections includes a number of excellent resources for the study of peoples of African descent. The items can only be viewed in person between 10am-4pm Monday-Friday. Contact with any questions or requests.



  • The Loften Mitchell Collection 
    Loften Mitchell was a prominent African American playwright and Professor of Theater and Afro-American Studies at Binghamton University. His personal papers include scripts, reviews, lecture notes, and memorabilia.



Resources Outside of Our Library

African American Women Writers from the 19th Century

A digital collection of works by 52 authors. Option to keyword search. Includes fiction, poetry, and essays. Some early-20th century works are also included. (Schomberg Center, NYPL)

American Memory: African American History

Provides links to the five collections of materials in the Library of Congress detailing African American life and culture. Highlights include slave and other personal narratives, sheet music, sound recordings of the blues, pamphlets, and collections on Jackie Robinson, Fredrick Douglass, and Zora Neale Hurston. (Library of Congress)

Documenting the American South

A digital library of texts, audio clips, and images that focus on the African-American experience in the South, with particular attention given to North Carolina. Great online source for primary documents. (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Freedom's Journal

The Wisconsin Historical Society has digitized the full run (1827-1829) of Freedom's Journal, the first newspaper that was owned and operated by African Americans in the United States. (Wisconsin Historical Society)

James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters

Yale’s collection of important African American writers includes the papers of Claude McKay, Lloyd Richards, as well as the Black Panther Trial Sketches. Additional info about these collections can be found at blog, African American Studies at the Beinecke. (Yale University)

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian's newest museum exists virtually. Includes digital collections of photographs on the Civil Rights movement and black resistance, as well as audio files from Story Corps. (Smithsonian)

The Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture

The preeminent collection of archival material on the experience of people of African descent. Particularly strong in African American experiences, and to a lesser extent Caribbean experiences. Includes significant materials on the Harlem Renaissance, as well as excellent collections of photographs, art and artifacts, and sound recordings relating to black culture. Check out their list of digitized finding aids to get a sense of what manuscripts and collections are available. (Schomberg Center, NYPL)

Slavery & Abolition in the US: Selected Publications of the 1800s

Digital collection of books and pamphlets about slavery in the United States from the 19th century. Publications are from the Millersville University Library and Dickinson College Library.