Visiting Archives

If the collections you need are not digitized, you'll need to plan a visit to the archives.

Very important! Visiting archives near or far requires planning ahead. Read the Society of American Archivists very helpful, time-saving tips:

African American Women Collection at Schlesinger

The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America has a large collection focused on African American Women, including the:

Gutman Library Special Collections

If you're interested in working with materials in the Gutman Library Special Collections, please visit Using Our Collections for information on requesting and viewing materials. 

History of Education and Teacher Training Schools

The History of Education and Teacher Training Schools collection contains nearly 21,000 volumes of primary source materials on elementary and secondary education and teacher training in the United States. The bulk of the collection dates from 1830 to 1940.

A portion of the collection is focused on Black education. See HOLLIS Search Tips to find these titles in the library catalog.

Historical Textbooks Collection

The Historical Textbooks collection contains nearly 45,000 elementary and secondary textbooks covers subject areas from agriculture to zoology. The collection contains materials published in the United States in English from 1776 through 1985. Several thousand of these titles have been digitized.

A portion of the collection contains textbooks, readers and materials intended for Black children and freed slaves. See HOLLIS Search Tips to find these titles in the library catalog.

Northeastern University Boston History Collections

The Northeastern University Special Collections preserves the records of Boston-area social justice organizations that serve under-represented communities. You can views its collection on Education organizations and individuals here. Note: includes the finding aid for the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, Inc. (METCO) records. 

Umbra Search: African American History

Umbra Search: African American History brings together more than 500,000 digitized materials from over 1,000 libraries and archives across the country.

Umbra Search celebrates the vital efforts of the individuals and institutions that have helped to preserve and make accessible online hundreds of thousands of pieces of African American history and culture; it pays homage to the Umbra Society of the early 1960s, a renegade group of Black writers and poets who helped create the Black Arts Movement.

Amistad Research Center

The Amistad Research Center, located at Tulane University, it is the oldest independent archive specializing in the history of African Americans and other Ethnic Minorities in the U.S. The holdings include the papers of artists, educators, authors, business leaders, clergy, lawyers, factory workers, farmers and musicians. The collection contains approximately 250,000 photographs dating from 1859. You can browse its collections here.

Guide to Harlem Renaissance

A Guide to Harlem Renaissance Materials from the Library of Congress focuses on African-American expressions of writing, music, and art during the 1920s and 1930s are well represented in the vast collections of the Library of Congress. This guide presents the Library's resources as well as links to external Web sites on the Harlem Renaissance and a bibliography.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture holds and provides access to books, serials, and microforms containing information by and about people of African descent throughout the world, concentrating on the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Geographically, the collection emphasizes the Americas, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa. View some of its collections here.

Finding Manuscripts and Archival Collections

This resource guide from Harvard Library may be helpful in your search for primary, archival and manuscript material: