As part of the Highlighter’s continuing recognition of Black History Month, the list of databases below documents several aspects of the African American experience. You’ll find information to broaden your horizons on black drama, African American studies, early African American journalism, and much more. This list has been curated by Director of Academic Integration Jutta Seibert.
This includes the complete text of major 19th century African American newspapers such as The Christian Recorder (1861-1902), Freedom’s Journal (1827-1829), The North Star (1847-1851), and Frederick Douglass’ Paper (1851-1863).
2. The African American Studies Center Online (Oxford University Press)
This database provides students, scholars and librarians with online access to the finest reference resources in African American studies. At its core, AASC features the new Encyclopedia of African American History: 1619-1895, Black Women in America, the highly acclaimed Africana, a five-volume history of the African and African American experience, and the African American National Biography project (estimated at 8 volumes). In addition to these major reference works, AASC offers other key resources from Oxford’s reference program, including the Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature and selected articles from other reference works.
3. Black Abolitionist Papers: 1830-1865 (ProQuest)
This collection searches a unique set of primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865. Approximately 15,000 articles, documents, correspondence, proceedings, manuscripts, and literary works of almost 300 Black abolitionists show the full range of their activities in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Germany.
4. Black Authors, Imprints from the LCP (1556-1922)
Works by authors of African or African-American descent. Compiled by the curators of the acclaimed Afro-Americana Imprints collection.
5. Black Drama
Contains the full text of 1,462 plays written from the mid-1800s to the present by more than 233 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. Many of the works are rare, hard-to-find, or out of print. More than a quarter of the collection consists of previously unpublished plays by writers such as Langston Hughes, Ed Bullins, Derek Walcott, Willis Richardson, Alice Childress, Amiri Baraka, Zora Neale Hurston, and many others.
Among these latest books you’ll find resources about literature during the Civil Rights era, being black on college campuses, and theory at the intersection of race and sexuality. I hope you, like me, will find these resources enlightening, and I hope they put into perspective the gravity of celebrating black history and culture this February.
Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.
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