Skip to Main Content
University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

U.S. History

This guide provides useful print and online resources to help people doing research in the History of the United States of America, defined broadly.

African American & African Diaspora

Recommended Databases

Image of excerpt from The Black Panther newspaper, advertising for a day of solidarity for political prisoners; includes photos of Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, Ericka Huggins and Ruchell Magee

Except from March 13th, 1971 issue of The Black Panther publication, advocating for the release of political prisoners. Via the database, African American Periodicals, 1825-1995.

Below is a list of databases focused on primary sources related to the historical experience of African Americans and the African Diaspora in the United States. 


Visualization showing a chart of "Income and expenditure of 150 Negro families in Atlanta, Ga., U.S.A."

Visualization by W.E.B Du Bois, 1900. (Public Domain, Library of Congress)

African American Artists in Collections- explore a selection of works by African American artists included in the collection of the National Gallery of Art.

Black Inventor, online museum focusing on top Black inventors over the last 300 years

Black Joy Archive - "The archive is intended to serve black people as a therapeutic practice in self-preservation and self-esteem, as we are continually asked to face painful imagery of folks who look like open-call was made for individuals to submit images of their joy - be it childhood or family photos, candids or personal artwork they have created." - an online reference center makes available a wealth of materials on African American history in one central location on the Internet. These materials include an online encyclopedia of over 4,000 entries, the complete transcript of more than 300 speeches by African Americans, other people of African ancestry, and those concerned about race, given between 1789 and 2016, over 140 full text primary documents, bibliographies, timelines

Civil Rights Digital Library - includes a digital video archive of historical news film and other primary sources. Can browse by media type.

Commerorator Newspaper Collection, 1991-2012 - newspaper printed in South Berkeley from 1990-2013 by the Commemoration Committee for the Black Panther Party.

Guide to the Ida B. Wells Papers, 1884-1976 - partially digitized collection including original manuscripts, correspondence, newspapers and journal articles written and compiled by Ida B. Wells

HBCU Library Alliance Digital Collections - collection of primary sources from HBCU libraries and archives. Includes photographs, university correspondence, manuscripts, images of campus buildings, memorabilia, event programs, and more.

Library of Congress: African American History Online Resources - A large number of primary source collection materials related to African American history are digitized and available online via the Library of Congress's website, including manuscripts, newspaper articles, images, and rare books

RADAR: Repository of AUC Digital collections, Archives, and Research - Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library's institutional repository, including including research and scholarly output, archival collections, and theses and dissertations. Materials included in RADAR have been selected and deposited by the students and faculty of the member schools, Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College, and the librarians of the Robert W. Woodruff Library.

Rosa Parks Papers, 1866-2006 - includes approximately 7,500 items in the Manuscript Division, as well as 2,500 photographs in the Prints and Photographs Division, documents many aspects of Parks's private life and public activism

Schomburg Digital Collections @NYPL - scroll down to see collections related to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; collections include photographs, prints, rare books, archival material, and more.

South Side Home Movie Project Archive -  Collects, preserves, digitizes, researches and screens home movies made by residents of Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods. The archive includes small-gauge films (8mm, Super8mm, 16mm) covering a period from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Umbra Search African American History -  this tool searches more than 500,000 digitized African American primary sources (letters, manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, etc.) from over 1000 participating archives, libraries, and museums in the U.S. From the Univ. of Minnesota.

These notable archives contain archival material that often requires in person access. Visit the specific archive's website to explore options related to digital access or scanning requests.

African American History @ Stuart A. Rose Archives - robust primary resource materials covering six principle collecting areas--Civil Rights and Post-Civil Rights Movements, Black print Culture, Blacks and the Left, African American Literature and the Arts, Expatriate Literary and Cultural Figures, and African Americans and Sports. Located at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

African American Museum & Library at Oakland - holds primary and secondary materials which preserve the history of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area. Contains over 160 collections documenting prominent families, pioneers, churches, social and political organizations. Located in Oakland, CA.

Amistad Research Center - collects, preserves, and provides access to original materials that reference the social and cultural importance of America's ethnic and racial history, the African Diaspora, human relations, and civil rights. Located at Tulane University.

Atlanta University Center Archives - includes the archives of Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College. Also has many individual, familial, and organizational collections representing the breadth of African American experiences.

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture - holds nearly 4000 primary and secondary source materials which preserve the history and culture of African Americans in Charleston, the South Carolina Low Country, and South Carolina at large. Located at the College of Charleston.

Black Archives of Mid-America - collects and preserves historical materials and artifacts related to the African American experience in the Midwest with an emphasis on Kansas City, MO region. Located in the historic 18th and Vine District in Kansas City, MO.

The Black Film Center/ Archive - collects and preserves films and related materials which have substantial participation by African American writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians, and consultants as well as those which depict some aspect of the black experience. Located at Indiana University-Bloomington.

Fisk University Special Collections and Archives - over 130 primary resource collections of African American scholars, poets, writers, artists, and businessmen including the complete Charles W. Chesnutt Papers. Located in Nashville, TN.

Henry Hampton Collection @ the Film and Media Archive - most notably known for his Eyes on the Prize documentary series chronicling the Civil Rights Movement. Henry Hampton's filmic legacy--over 58,000 items-- as well as organizational records for the historic Blackside Inc, production company are preserved here. Located at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Moorland-Spingarn Research Center - one of the oldest African American archives in the country. Includes the Howard University Archive. Located in Washington, D.C.

National Archive for Black Women's History - only archive solely dedicated to the history of African American women. Core collection includes historic corporate records of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), along with personal papers, and corporate records of organizations mostly associated with the NCNW. Located in Landover, MD.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - one of the world's leading research facilities devoted to the preservation of materials on the global African and African diasporan experiences. Contains over 11 million items in its non circulating collections. Located in New York City, NY.

Tuskegee University Archives Repository - Notable HBCU founded by Booker T. Washington. Collection includes books (including faculty publications), manuscripts, Tuskegee University periodicals and newspapers, ephemera, photographic images, disc and tape recordings, and other archival items. Located in Tuskegee, AL.

Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection @ Chicago Public Library - Largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest with a strong focus on the black experience in Chicago. Contains photographs, manuscripts, rare books, and organizational records. Located in Chicago, IL.

Featured Newspapers

A select few of historical African-American newspapers in our collection.

Featured: NAACP Papers

UT Austin Black Diaspora Archive

The Black Diaspora Archive (BDA) is a collaborative project at UT Austin. Established in 2015 and housed at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, the BDA collects documentary, audiovisual, digital, and artistic works related to the Black Diaspora of the Americas and Caribbean. This encompasses historical publications, contemporary records, personal papers, and rare material produced by and/or about people of African descent—including scholars, professionals, community groups, activists, and artists.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.