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Black History: Web Resources

Selected Websites for Primary Sources

Resources to get you started: 

Library Research Using Primary Sources: An extensive research guide from U.C. Berkeley Library. 


Websites for primary source materials:

Africans in America: PBS presents America's journey through slavery in four parts. For each era, you'll find a historical narrative, images, documents, stories, biographies, and commentaries.

American American Odyssey: Collections from the Library of Congress:  Links to 16 archival collections related to African American history and culture, including photographs, prints, motion pictures, manuscripts, printed books, pamphlets, maps, and sound recordings going back to roughly 1490. Presented by the Library of Congress American Memory project.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers: Access to about 100 newspapers published from 1690 to the present. Includes more than 20 African American newspapers from around the country. From the Library of Congress and NEH.

Documenting the American South: Thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs including "North American Slave Narratives", "First-Person Narratives of the American South," "The Church in the Southern Black Community," and more.

History and Culture: Selected Sources from the InternetAn extremely thorough list of useful websites selected by the librarians at UC Santa Barbara. Categories include: Centers and Archives; History; News and Newspapers; Oral History and Narratives; Politics and Government; and Religion.

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience: This extensive, well-designed website features images, essays, lesson plans, and maps all focused on the movements of African Americans from the 1400s to the present. The site is built around the history of 13 African American migration experiences: the transatlantic slave trade (1450s-1867), runaway journeys (1630s-1865), the domestic slave trade (1760s-1865), colonization and emigration (1783–1910s), Haitian Immigration (1791–1809), Western migration (1840s-1970), Northern migration (1840s- 1890), the Great Migration (1916–1930), the Second Great Migration (1940–1970), Caribbean immigration (1900-present), the return South migration (1970-present), Haitian immigration in the 20th century (1970-present), and African immigration (1970-present). From the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Making of America: Late 19th century American books and journals covering social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction, with emphases on education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles. From the University of Michigan Digital Library Initiative.

Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database: This visually rich and authoritative website provides information on the slave trade that spanned five continents. Offers maps, images, timelines, tables, essays, bibliographies, a database of African names, and more. Sponsored by Emory University and the National Endowment for the Humanities.