African American Archives and Libraries

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United States Gotoarrow.png African American Research Gotoarrow.png Archives and Libraries

[[Image:Template:NatlUndRR]]Most archives and libraries collect records about local residents (biographies, family histories, and local histories) and about nearby places (maps, gazetteers, and place-finding aids). They often compile reference helps and special indexes to important local sources. In many communities they serve as a meeting place for local historical and genealogical societies, and may be able to provide referrals to people who are willing to look up information in local records. Before you visit an archive or a library, contact them and ask for information on their collection, hours, services, and fees.

When one of these institutions is referred to elsewhere in this outline, return to this section for the address.

The Family History Library has copies of many of the records found in archives and libraries, but most repositories will have additional sources.

Many archives and libraries have helpful sources for locating information about African Americans, such as maps, gazetteers, and other place-finding aids. They frequently have collections of previous research, such as family and local histories and biographies. Many have record-finding aids, such as guides to their own collections or inventories of records housed elsewhere in the state. Archives and libraries near state boundaries usually collect records relating to the adjacent states.

These archives, libraries, societies, and museums preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their African American ancestors.


Family History Library.jpg
Family History Library
35 North West Temple Street
Room 344
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3400
Telephone: 801-240-2331 or 1-800-346-6044

National Archives
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20408
Telephone: 202-501-5415
Fax: 301-837-0459

National Archives - Regional Branches

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
900 Library Plaza, P.O. Box 2270
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46801-2270
Email: Genealogy@ACPL.Info
African American Gateway:
NOTE: Microfilm from the rich collection of the Family History Library can be ordered at The Genealogy Center.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 East Freedom Way
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Telephone: 513-333-7500 or 877-648-4838

The Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
Telephone: 202-633-4820

The University of Pittsburgh
Hillman Library
3960 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260
Telephone: 412-648-7756


The University of Pennsylvania
African Studies Center
647 Williams Hall
255 S 36th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6305
Telephone: 215-898-6971
Fax: 215-573-7379

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
520 Sixteenth Street North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Telephone: 205-328-9696
Toll Free: 1-866-328-9696
Fax: 205-251-6104

The Black Archives of Mid-America
2033 Vine Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64108-3007
Telephone: 816-701-3590

Duke Univeristy
John Hope Franklin Collection for African and African-American Documentation
Durham, North Carolina 27708
Telephone 919-684-8111
Internet: Internet:

UNC University Libraries

Documenting the American South (DocSouth):  Collections

The Library of Congress
The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture
101 Independence Avenue SE
Washington, D.C. 20540
Telephone: 202-707-5000

See the tutorial at the FamilySearch Learning Center on "African American Genealogical Research at the Library of Congress"

New England Historic Genealogical Society
101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3087
Telephone: 617-536-5740
Fax: 617-536-7307
Internet address: 

See the tutorial at the FamilySearch Learning Center on "African American Resources at NEHGS"

Godfrey Memorial Library
134 Newfield St.
Middletown, CT 06457
Telephone: 806-346-4375

Newberry Library

60 W. Walton St. - Chicago, IL - 60610
Reading Rooms: Tue - Fri 9am-5pm Sat 9am-1pm

Note: Microfilms from the Family History Library can be ordered at this Public Library

Online Records

link= American_Online_Genealogy_Records African American
Online Records
Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.


The following resources can be helpful as you begin your research: