Local book author and Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Dan Biddle teaches a course on 19th century civil rights in the Honors Program this fall. His students are using a range of primary sources from the library’s collection. Although much is available online, some primary sources remain hidden away on microfilm reels. The Black Abolitionist Papers and the Papers of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society are a case in point. For a limited time students and faculty have access to the online version of the Black Abolitionist Papers until the trial ends on October 14. The online collection includes over 15,000 items which can be browsed by document type, name, source, location and date. It covers the period 1830-1865 and contains the correspondence of major African American leaders, selected speeches, lectures and sermons, as well as articles from more than 200 newspapers. Interested faculty and students are strongly encouraged to review the online version and send their feedback to Jutta Seibert. The library will endeavor to add the Black Abolitionist Papers to its permanent collection if there is enough interest.
Biddle’s students will also be working with the African American Newspapers collection, the African American Studies Center and the American Periodicals Series to name but a few of the many digital collections available at Falvey. Find more resources related to 19th century civil rights with the help of the library research guide Discovering 19th Century Civil Rights. Many of you will remember Dan Biddle from the 2011 Black History Month Lecture at Falvey. He and his co-author Murray Dubin discussed their book Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments that you may have.