Research Guides & Websites

Regarding Websites:

Web research can be very useful and lead to much useful and important information. While every effort has been made to list only "reliable" sites, researchers should be aware that control of sites change (often without notice) from time to time and, thus, the reliability and point of view of the website may change (for better or worse). One of the best uses of web information is to locate good primary and secondary sources that should be directly examined. Websites also go out of existence, so, for scholarly work, they are not reliable sources, like a published work which, presumably, will always be available in some library (Library of Congress) for examination. Beware especially of quoting or otherwise relying upon unidentified opinions found on websites.

Basic guide to web research:

  1. Use your library BEFORE you start your web research. You will learn many terms that will be useful in your web research. You should read at least one good, broad secondary source on the subject before starting your research.

  2. Learn how to do web research. Google has a very good set of instructions. USE IT!

  3. Know the site you are using. Find out who is responsible for it. An example of a very good site is the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School (use Google to find it.)

  4. Find the original printed source of the information given on the site. You may have to use your library sources or a research librarian to help you. Cite both the internet source and the printed source.

Research Guides and Resources – African American History

West – go to:

African American History in the West – Research Guides and Websites


Research Resources

Other Research Sources

African American

Gateways  (listing many internet links – great research tool)   

    Scholarly portal with news, articles, information, and services both free online and for subscription fees. Main channels include Worldview, Lifestyle, Fast Track, Heritage, Art Scene, and Homefront. There are numerous advertisements for products, books, cd-rom's, and network services. Includes music, book, and movie reviews. According to the site, their mission is to gather together authoritative information on the African diaspora in an entertaining way. Includes search engines.


  • Legal Defense Fund (NAACP) web page

  • Plantation America – The Work of Slaves 
    Collection – Duke University

    A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History & Culture

    comprehensive site with many references, links and primary sources

  • President Truman and the Desegregation of the Armed Forces 
    Truman Presidential Museum and Library

  • The Double V Campaign 
    World War II campaign for civil rights

  • AfroCubaWeb
    Very full listing of news items and current events relevant to Afro-Cuban issues of all kinds, with a focus on the arts, music, religion, literature, and folklore. Includes information on research trips to Cuba, visiting Cuban scholars, workshops, conferences, and festivals. In English; includes search engine.

  • African Art: Aesthetics and Meaning

  • Archives of African American Music and Culture
    The Archives of African-American Music and Culture (AAAMC) is a repository of materials covering musical
    idioms and cultural expressions from the post-World War II era.

  • African-American Museum in Philadelphia
    This museum is home to art shows and special historic exhibits that focus on African-American themes. Also
    on display within its four galleries is a permanent collection of African-American art and historical photographs of
    Philadelphia. Additionally, the museum provides space for special cultural performances, such as an annual all-night
    Jazz 'Til Sunrise music marathon held every February.

  • African American Freedom Fighters: Soldiers for Liberty

  • Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Inc.
    This site dedicated to the influencing of Black images portrayed in film and television through education, the nurturing of current independent Filmmakers, and the preservation of contributions by African American artists both before and behind the camera.

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    This site contains secondary documents written about Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as primary documents written during King's life.

    The site contains links to all the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It also includes links to other related African American sources.  Click on "Education," then click on "HBCU's."         

  • John Hope Franklin Collection on African American History
    This collection of items on African American life, history and culture is housed at the Duke University Library.

  • John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary & International Studies

  • NAACP Online
    Homepage of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

  • The Universal Black Pages

  • Women of Color Web
    Selections from major critical essays of prominent women authors and intellectuals on the topic of race and gender. Authors profiled include bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins, Barbara Smith, Angela Y. Davis, and many others including Latina and Asian American authors. Writings are organized into the broad categories of feminisms, reproductive rights, and sexualities. Also includes links to online teaching tools (mainly web index sites and web bibliographies), a listing of relevant organizations and their websites, and online discussion lists for women of color. From the Harvard School of Public Health.

  • African American Newspapers: The 19th Century
    Includes searchable full-text of the following newspapers: Freedom's Journal, The Coloured American, The North Star, The National Era, Provincial Freeman, The Frederick Douglass Paper, and the Christian Recorder.

  • African American Review *
    Full-text and complete back issues to this important literary criticism journal, including articles, reviews, editorials, individual poems, etc. Coverage includes 1967-96 (some under previous titles, Negro American Literature Forum and Black American Literature Forum). From J-Stor; includes powerful search engine. Current print issues of this journal are available.

  • Black Collegian Online
    Vibrant and well-designed online version of this well-known publication that focuses on education and career information for African American students. Includes full-text articles, plus a job bank, résumé services, African American issues, and many helpful features. Includes article archives dating back to February 1997. Highly recommended. See published review from C&RL News, back in June 2000.

  • Black Press USA
    Excellent online news service provides current national and local news articles on this website sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association and the Black Press. Billed as "your independent source of news for the African American community," the website includes links to Black Press online newspapers organized by state, a history section, press releases, and a search engine. A bit slow loading (as of 6/18/01), but highly recommended.

  • Ebony Online
    Abstracts (not full text) of selected articles and features from current issue only. Abstracts function as a sort of expanded table of contents meant to lead the online reader to subscribe or otherwise seek out the physical magazine to continue reading the article of interest. No archived issues or articles, no search engine, no full table of contents or index.

  • Ethnic & Racial Studies *
    Now available online Routledge Press Journals. Ethnic & Racial Studies is one of the leading journals to focus on worldwide racial and ethnic studies issues. Full text coverage of this important journal begins with volume 21, January 1998, to the present. Back years of print version are available.

  • Freedom's Journal
    Full text digitized copies of the nation's first African American owned and operated newspaper, 1827-1829. The first 20 issues are currently (6/00) available free online, with the remaining 80 some issues scheduled to follow. Adobe Acrobat reader necessary, and available online for downloading if needed. From the State Historical Society of Wisconsin Library, a leader in the collection, preservation, and promotion of African American periodicals.

  • Jet Online
    Selected stories available online for current issue only
    – typically, the issue cover story and a few other selected features. No archived issues, no search engine, table of contents, or index.

  • Journal of Black Studies *
    Complete full-text facsimiles of this important core journal in African American and African studies. Coverage is 1970-1996; includes powerful search engine. From J-Stor.

  • Journal of Blacks in Higher Education *
    Complete online full-text, 1993-1997. Includes powerful search engine; from J-Stor.

  • Journal of Negro Education *
    Complete online full-text, 1932-1994 – an incredible span of years available for online full-text coverage of a journal. From J-Stor; includes powerful search engine.

  • Journal of Negro History *
    Complete online full-text, 1916-1996 – another incredible span of years for this important African American research journal. From J-Stor; includes powerful search engine.

  • Transition *
    Complete online full-text from 1961-1994 of this important and unique contribution to radical African American and cultural studies worldwide. From J-Stor; includes powerful search engine.

  • Vibe Online
    Online version of this well-known youth-oriented music and culture magazine. Loaded with graphics, advertisements, illustrations, and articles.

  • Western Journal of Black Studies
    Online index to this well-known literary research journal; includes links to the reference sections of articles from 1977-present. Some sections are available to online subscribers only; subscriptions available to individuals for a fee. Copies of this journal, 1997-present, are available


  • African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
    Online exhibit of full text and images from the Library of Congress collections, organized chronologically via chapters on slavery, Antebellum free Blacks, the Civil War and reconstruction, the "Booker T. Washington era," both World Wars, and the civil rights movement.

  • African American Women Writers
    Exemplary online resource presents text and images from the renowned Schomburg Center on the topic of African American women writers of the 19th century. Contents are searchable by title, author, and by literary genre (poetry, essays, etc.). Also includes a number of accompanying essays.

  • African American Women: On-line Archival Collections
    Scanned documents, letters, and other primary sources from Duke University Library Special Collections. Women featured include Elizabeth Johnson Harris, Vilet Lester, Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson. Also includes relevant links to other African American women's history resources.

  • Africans in America
    Companion website to the PBS 4-part documentary, covering the years 1450 through 1865. Includes individual online chapters for various sets of years, with narrative text, maps, illustrations, and other resources. Includes student and teacher guides, plus information about the documentary series.

  • American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology
    Collection of full-text narratives from thirteen African American former slaves. Includes brief biographies of each narrator, plus bibliographies and other sources for further study. From the University of Virginia.

  • The Blue Highway
    Website and narrative devoted to the country blues developed way back in 1995 by web pioneer Curtis Hewston. Now includes a chat room, search engine, sound files, and more. Musicians profiled include Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, B.B.King, Buddy Guy, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Bukka White, and many others.

  • Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
    This new online collection from the Library of Congress includes "… more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves." Contents are searchable by keyword, and can be browsed by narrator, subject, by state, or by volume (corresponding to the print versions mentioned above.)

  • Civil Rights in Mississippi
    Online exhibit from the University of Southern Mississippi Library & Archives. Includes oral histories, both transcribed and (a few) presented via sound files, manuscripts, finding aids, and other resources. Includes scope notes, search engine, and annotated links to other related websites.

  • Freedom Now! An Archival Project of Tougaloo College and Brown University "Online collection focuses on the struggle for civil rights in Mississippi and its legacy. This website includes more than 200 documents from the archives of Tougaloo College and Brown University chosen by students and faculty from both institutions."

  • Digital Schomburg: Images of African Americans from the 19th Century
    One of many noteworthy projects from the Schomburg Center, this digital photo album is searchable by broad category (such as "family," "education," "civil war," or by keywords. Also included are brief essays that give an introduction to the photographs, as well as the broader topic of searching the past.

  • Dred Scott Digital Project
    Digitized documents, full text transcriptions, portraits, chronology, and other research materials on the Dred Scott case. From Washington University Libraries.

  • Fernando Ortiz: A Bibliography of Afro-Cuban Culture
    Exhaustive and authoritative online bibliography of works by and about Fernando Ortiz, renowned scholar of Afro-Cuban history and culture. Bibliography is searchable by keywords, or contents can be browsed and accessed via a frames or no frames version. Co-sponsored by the Schomburg Center and InterAmericas.

  • Flashbacks: African American Education
    From the archives of the Atlantic Monthly magazine, historic essays from W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington on the topic of African American education. Also includes Bernard W. Harleston's 1965 essay "Higher Education for the Negro," Claude M. Steele's 1992 "Race and the Schooling of Black Americans," and Nicholas Lemann's 1993 "Philadelphia: Black Nationalism on Campus."

  • Flashbacks: Black History, American History
    More from the archives of the Atlantic Monthly, a number of important, full-text essays including Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "The Negro is your brother" (popularly known as the "Letter from Birmingham Jail"), a number of essay debates between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois (including "The Awakening of the Negro," "Strivings of the Negro People," and others), plus an interview with Du Bois.

  • Flight to Freedom
    Interesting interactive "game" allows users to "experience" the escape from pre-Civil War slavery, through the online personal narratives of a number of escaped slaves and other prominent individuals. Developed by Bowdoin history professor Dr. Patrick Rael and the Bowdoin Educational Technology Center. An unusual and unique web-based teaching tool.

  • From Slavery to Freedom: The African American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909
    Online bibliography, finding tool, full text, and facsimile images of almost 400 African American pamphlets in the Library of Congress collections. Topics covered include "…slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, and Reconstruction," featuring works by such authors as Frederick Douglass, Kelly Miller, Charles Sumner, Mary Church Terrell, and Booker T. Washington. Includes search engine; contents can be viewed by html text or by facsimile image. Includes title, author, and subject indices.

  • Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    This branch of the New York Public Library system hosts one of the world's greatest collections of African diaspora and African American materials of all kinds – books, clippings, art and cultural objects, manuscripts, videos and films. Increasingly, the Schomburg Center has been mounting digital exhibits that profile some of their collections, such as Harlem: An African American Community, 1900-1940, African Presence in the Americas, and The Schomburg Legacy. The Schomburg Center was named for Puerto Rican-born Arturo "Arthur" Schomburg, who donated his own collections to the NYPL.

  • Slave Movement during the 18th and 19th Centuries
    This website from the University of Wisconsin makes available to registered users selected raw data on the slave trade to the Americas. Specific data includes "Records of Slave Ship Movement between African & the Americas, 1817-1843," "Angola Slave Trade in the 18th Century, 1723-1771," and various records regarding the slave trade to Cuba, Jamaica, Rio de Janeiro, and elsewhere. An invaluable resource.

  • The African American Coal Miner Information Center
    This site provides information on African American coal miners and coal mining families. It also includes a synopsis of African American coal mining experience and a growing list of miners in alphabetical order by last name, many with the place of birth.

  • Documenting Our Past —The Teenie Harris Archive Project
    Teenie Harris, a photographer with the Pittsburgh Courier took thousands of pictures that provide a valuable visual history of Pittsburgh’s African American community from the Great Depression to the Civil Rights Movement. The site will eventually contain 3,6090 images from Harris’s Collection

Africa on the Internet


General African-American History Links:

African-Americans to 1800

Antebellum 19th Century:

The Civil War Era:

African-Americans in the Late 19th Century

African-Americans in Texas

African-Americans in the South – Late 19th Century

African-Americans in the West – Late 19th Century

African-American Women

African-American Women in the South

African-Americans in the 20th Century