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Africana Studies: Primary Sources & Digital Collections

A guide for research in African American and African Studies


What are primary sources?

Examples of Primary Sources:

  •  Audio recordings of a speech or oral history
  •  Autobiographies, diaries, or letters
  •  Certain government documents, such as congressional hearings or agency reports
  •  Interviews
  •  Journal articles which report first hand observations
  •  Newspaper accounts of events
  •  Photographs or moving images of an event
  •  Records of an organization, often kept in Archives

Looking for first person stories? Check the resource   

Click on the logo above to access oral history interviews with historically significant African Americans.

Image Collections

ArtSTOR  is a digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, photography, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images. Specialized collections arranged geographically by country.

Wikimedia Commons is a database of media files (images, sounds and video) to which anyone can contribute, making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content. 

Library Primary Source Collections


Caribbean History and Culture button
Contains books, pamphlets, almanacs, broadsides and ephemera covering the history of this broad region.



African Newspapers, 1800- 1922

Atlanta Constitution, 1868 - 1984

Boston Globe (current and historical), 1872 - present

Historical Black Newspapers contains content from African-American newspapers: Chicago Defender (1910-1975); NY Amsterdam News (1922-1993); Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).

Open Access Digital Collections