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Africana studies and African American studies special collections

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  • Marian Anderson, ca. 1935, photo by Lotte Meitner-Graf
    Marian Anderson, ca. 1935, photo by Lotte Meitner-Graf (Ms. Coll. 198: Box 89, Folder 3, Item 1)

[note: revisions to this webpage are ongoing]

This webpage provides information about collections held in the Kislak Center which help document the experiences and histories of African American, African, and African-descended peoples and which provide source material for global Black studies.

The following broad categories are meant primarily as starting points and general guides for researchers and students, focusing on particular collection strengths. Note that updates to this listing are ongoing.

Major Collections

  • Marian Anderson Collection: Anderson's personal papers--including letters, music scores, programs, photographs, and sound recordings--and affiliated materials from her entire career.
  • Joanna Banks Collection of African American Books: over 10,000 published works, mainly from the 1970s to the present, including women's writing, children's literature, cookery, and African American periodicals
  • Ashley Bryan Archive: artwork, correspondence, and related materials documenting the long career of the artist and children's book author.
  • Arthur Huff Fauset collection: writings of this African American anthropologist, folklorist and writer.
The following categories provide an overview of collections by historical time period:
  • Please note: revisions and additions to this webpage are ongoing.

    This webpage provides an overview of collections held in the Kislak Center which help document the experiences and histories of African American, African, and African-descended peoples and which provide source material for global black studies.

    Note that updates to this listing are ongoing. It is meant primarily as a starting point and general guide for researchers and students.

     

Premodern materials from or relating to Africa

 

Among the manuscripts in the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection are some that were created in Muslim North Africa, primarily in Arabic and from Morocco and Egypt. Additional manuscripts in the collection from the Muslim world were also created in Africa.

European-created materials include printed accounts and some manuscripts referencing history of or travel to Africa. For example, we hold two editions of Giovanni Ramusio's Delle Navigatione et viaggi, a travel compendium which includes the account of the captive-convert known as Leo Africanus. Also present in the collection are early modern editions of classical sources on Africa, like the writings of Julius Caesar.

Early modern culture, Shakespeare, theater, performance, and race

The Furness Shakespeare Library is a broad collection of William Shakespeare, his contemporaries, Elizabethan and early modern history, and the long tradition of Shakespearean criticism. As part of its collecting focus, the collection acquires recent scholarship on Shakespeare in global contexts, including materials on race in literature and in performance and theater history. Also in the collection are historical materials on performance.

Primary Sources on the global slave trade

Held in various manuscript and print collections are a number of sources relating to the slave trade. Examples include:

Debates on enslavement and the abolition of the slave trade

A number of sources from Great Britain, France, and North America, ca. 1770s-1830s,

  • Books and pamphlets printed in the 1770s

 

20th century collections