Skip to main content

African American Studies Research Guide

Online Encyclopedias

Cultural Institutions

Recommended Websites

African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection From the Library of Congress American Memory site; primary documents in African American history and culture. Includes pamphlets from authors such as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and Ida B. Wells.

African American Odyssey From the Library of Congress American Memory site; collection of rare books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, photos, films, and recordings documenting the African American experience.

Directory of Online Resources for the Study of African American Studies
Sections include: digital publications, historic African Americans, Martin Luther King, Jr., Slavery, Civil War, civil rights movement, jazz, museums, and teaching resources.

The History Makers
5,000 interviews of both well-known and unsung African American HistoryMakers; stories of individual African Americans along with those of African American organizations, events, movements and periods of time that are significant to the African American community.

Primary Source Resources

African American Digital Initiatives
Digital archives containing text, images, and audio of a wide range of topics and from a wide range of sources; developed by Howard University.  

African-Americans: Biography, Autobiography and History
Part of the Yale Law School's Avalon Project; provides access to key documents by Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, WEB Du Bois, and Booker T. Washington, along with the Narrative of Sojourner Truth .

American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank
Database of and index to 5000+ full text, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, other recorded media events.

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology This University of Virginia site provides access to oral histories provided by over 2300 former slaves to interviewers from the Works Progress Administration between 1936 and 1938.

Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in America: A Visual Record 
Of interest to anyone studying the experiences of Africans who were enslaved and transported to the Americas and the lives of their descendants in the slave societies of the New World.

Avalon Project, Document Collection
Covers fields of law, history, economics, politics, diplomacy, and government. Materials range from ancient times to the present, and from international issues to key events in the United States. In addition to documents arranged by time period, Avalon also offers many document collections, including African Americans: Biography, Autobiography, and History; the Cold War; Slavery Statutes and Treaties; Native Americans: Treaties with the United States; the American Constitution: A Documentary Record; and much more.

Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
Click the Scholars tab for links to the Document Library, which contains over 200 individual items, including speeches, letters, cartoons and graphics, interviews, and articles, and to an annotated list of online resource.

History Matters
This site, created by the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning (CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University) contains a wealth of primary source material, research guidance, and annotated Web links

Our Documents
This site presents 100 milestone documents in US history from 1776-1965, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration

Social Activism Sound Recording Project: The Black Panther Party
Primary source media resources related to social activism and activist movements in California in the 1960s and 1970s. The site also provides a chronology of the Black Panther Party; developed by the University of California-Berkely Library in partnership with the Pacifica Foundation and other sources.