Huge Digital Archive of African American History Now Available Online

Students at Alabama A&M University

The Sheridan Libraries’ Center for Educational Resources at Johns Hopkins University has announced the availability of an online database of archival materials from the Afro-American newspaper. Founded in 1892, the newspaper has amassed a vast archive of documents and photographs documenting African American history. The documents and photographs are from the newspaper’s “morgue” or backup files that were used by reporters and editors of the paper when compiling their stories. The materials include more than 150,000 subject files from 2,000 boxes of materials. The most interesting items from these files will be posted online and made available to researchers. Many of the items are related to higher education, including the photograph seen here.

The archival project, jointly administered by the university’s Center for Educational Resources and the Center for Africana Studies, was financed by a $476,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“The Afro holds an amazing collection of historical documents and images related to 20th century African American history,” said Moira Hinderer, who served as the project manager and is a lecturer in the university’s Center for Africana Studies. “The partnership between the Afro and Johns Hopkins makes these materials more accessible to scholars, students, and the public. With historic photographs of everything from Tuskegee Airmen to civil rights protests to local weddings and graduations, the database has something for everyone interested in history.”

The archives can be accessed here.

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