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African American Studies

Primary and selected secondary sources for research in African American Studies at Princeton University.


Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division

“The Prints and Photographs Division's substantial holdings of photographs, prints, posters, and drawings include many works relating to the history of blacks in America from the slavery period through the civil rights era. There is no single, comprehensive list of the holdings relating to African American history. It is best to make a selection by visiting the Prints and Photographs Division or by requesting images of specific people or events. Written requests for such images can be answered when limited to no more than fifteen items.”     

Images of African Americans from the 19th century  A selection of images from Photographs and Prints Division of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.          

Images of African-American Slavery and Freedom from the Collections of the Library of Congress.  Selected sets of images on frequently requested topics, focusing on images for which there are no known restrictions.

Images of 20th Century African American Activists: A Selected List. Images of prominent African Americans spanning the 20th century.

The Civil Rights Era in the U.S. News & World Report Photograph Collection.  Selected images from the Collections of the Library of Congress. The collection is primarily photographs taken by staff of the U.S. News & World Report Magazine between 1952 and 1986.  Also included are images related to such issues as civil rights and the women's movement, cultural leaders and personalities are portrayed such as Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photographs of African Americans During the Civil War: A List of Images in the Civil War Photograph Collection of the Library of Congress. A selection of photographs in the Civil War Photograph Collection that include African Americans.

Photographs of Signs Enforcing Racial Discrimination: Documentation by Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Photographers. Includes all the known images of discrimination signs found in the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information file of photographic prints.

Selected publications with LC images

The following publications include several pictures from the files of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.  Please note that only pictures credited specifically to the Library of Congress can be ordered from LC. In requesting copies of these pictures, send a photocopy of the image as well as a complete citation for the book from which it was taken (including page number). You may search the Prints and Photographs catalog for other images relating to African American history.

The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. Edited by Debra Newman Ham. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1993.  F) Z1361.N39 L47 1993

Boime, Albert. The Art of Exclusion: Representing Blacks in the Nineteenth Century. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.  Marquand Library (SA) N8232 .B57 1990

Campbell, Edward D.C. Before Freedom Came: African-American Life in the Antebellum South: To Accompany an Exhibition Organized by the Museum of the Confederacy. Richmond: The Museum of the Confederacy; Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1991. (F) E443 .B44 1991

Cashman, Sean Dennis. African-Americans and the Quest for Civil Rights, 1900-1990. New York: New York University Press, 1991.  (F) E185.61 .C292 1991

Christopher, Maurine. Black Americans in Congress. Revised ed. New York: T.Y. Crowell, 1976. (F) E185.96.C5.1976

Crew, Spencer R. Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration, 1915- 1940. Washington, D.C.: Dept. of Public Programs, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, 1987. (F) E185.6 .C92 1987

Dumond, Dwight Lowell. Antislavery: The Crusade for Freedom in America. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961.  (F) 1083.313.2

Horton, James Oliver and Lois E. Horton, eds. A History of the African American People: The History, Traditions & Culture of African Americans. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1997. (F) Oversize E185 .H56 1997q

Hughes, Langston, Milton Meltzer, and C. Eric Lincoln. A Pictorial History of Blackamericans. 5th rev. ed. of A Pictorial History of the Negro in America. New York: Crown Publishers, [1983].  (F) E185 .H83 1983

Kaplan, Sidney. The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution, 1770-1800. [Greenwich, Conn.] New York Graphic Society, 1973. (F) 1099.5105

Natanson, Nicholas. The Black Image in the New Deal: the Politics of FSA Photography. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992.  (F) E185.6 .N245 1992

Some Time Ago: A Historical Portrait of Black Americans from 1850-1950. Selected by Chester Higgins; text by Orde Coombs. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1980.  (F) E185 .S593 1980

Year's Pictorial History of the American Negro. Maplewood, N.J.: C.S. Hammond & Company, 1965.  (F) 1099.98933


African American Periodicals, 1825-1995    

Online collection of academic and political journals, commercial magazines, institutional newsletters, organizations' bulletins, annual reports and other diverse periodicals.


"Selling Shadows and Substance: Photographing Race in the United States, 1850-1870," by Mandy Reid. Early Popular Visual Culture, vol. 4, 3, 2006


Black Studies in Video

Brings together documentaries, interviews, and previously unavailable archival footage surveying the black experience.  The collection contains over 500 hours of film covering history, politics, art and culture, gender relationships, and social and economic issues.

The HistoryMakers

Oral history interviews with more than 1,600 historically significant African Americans in fields such as the arts, business, education, entertainment, the law, the military, politics, religion, and science.