PUL honors Black History Month
In celebration of Black History Month, Princeton University Library (PUL) highlights the following e-resources and research guides that speak to the contributions of Black leaders and communities.
Updated Newspaper Access (2024)
We have expanded coverage of African American Newspapers through ProQuest Historical Newspapers, including:
Cleveland Call & Post
Kansas City Call
Los Angeles Sentinel
New York Amsterdam News
Norfolk Journal & Guide
Rare Book Acquisitions
We’ve added a handful of rare books to our catalog, including:
A narrative of the life and adventures of Venture a native of Africa, but resident above sixty years in the United States of America. Related by himself. New London, Printed in 1798. Reprinted A.D. 1835, and published by a descendant of Venture. Rev. and republished with traditions by H.M. Selden, Haddam, Conn., 1896
Racial aspects of reconversion: a memorandum prepared for the President of the United States / by the National Urban League
We've recently acquired the digitized records of one of the pioneering civil rights organizations in the American South: Civil rights and social activism in the South - James A. Dombrowski and the Southern Conference Educational Fund.
Digital periodicals and newspapers
PUL can provide access to the following digital periodicals and newspapers:
· Jet, 1980-1989 (more years coming soon)
These photos, which were acquired in fall 2021 by PUL’s Special Collections, were part of Romus Broadway’s work to document his beloved neighborhood. Born in Belle Mead in 1939, Broadway relocated to Princeton with his parents at the age of four. He graduated from Princeton High School, after which he served in the Air Force and worked for American Airlines until 1969.
PUL has collected more than 20 items from the 19th century documenting free Black communities that are now available for digitization requests. The items, which include coverage of the Reconstruction era and its labor conditions, are some of the few pieces of documentation about the communities from that time. Among them are ledgers documenting the receipts and payments of country stores, taverns, mills, and farming enterprises whose employees and customers included free Black people.
This film, originally broadcast in 2019, sees Henry Louis Gates Jr. present an examination of one of the most consequential and least understood chapters in U.S. history when, after the Civil War, the nation struggled to reunite North and South while living up to the promise of citizenship for millions of freed African Americans.
PUL acquires more first editions of Frederick Douglass’s works
Princeton University Library (PUL) has begun building a collection of early editions of autobiographies from renowned abolitionist, suffragist, and human rights leader Frederick Douglass. The collection, held in PUL’s Special Collections in Firestone Library, added two new items: “Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, 1849 ed.,” and “Life and times of Frederick Douglass, written by himself.”
PUL provides faculty, students, and staff access to The HistoryMakers, a database of oral history interviews with more than 2,600 historically significant African Americans in fields such as the arts, business, education, entertainment, the law, the military, politics, religion, and science. This primary source collection provides access to the testimonies of leaders such as civil rights leader John Lewis, actress Whoopie Goldberg, and mathematician Katherine Johnson of "Hidden Figures." Interviews are provided through video with transcripts available.
This guide highlights resources related to Black arts from the 1800s up to the present and compiles databases and primary source materials, including the Princeton University Art Museum's African American Print Collection, a digital library of published works documenting the history of the Americas from 1492 to the mid-1800s, as well as several collections on the history of the Atlantic world, from British archives.
PUL Remembers the life and legacy of bell hooks
bell hooks was an activist, author, feminist, poet, professor, and scholar, and from reading accounts from those who were blessed to know bell hooks personally, a phemeonal family member, friend and teacher. This post provides links to PUL catalog items by hooks.
To support research related to the Black Lives Matter movement, this Princeton University Library research guide features information about systemic racism and activism. Resource categories include recent books by Princeton faculty members, race and antiracism, Princeton students and librarians recommend, environmental racism, science and racism, web-based resources, and reporting bias or harassment.
Ephemera about Black economic life
In an effort to place more emphasis on Black economic life, PUL has acquired a few items of ephemera related to African American beauty companies, which represent a key industry in which female Black entrepreneurs made their mark in the early 20th century.
- The Mme. C.J. Walker system of beauty culture : the oldest, the most widely known, the best,
- The Walker 1949 almanac : a personal guide to health, wealth and romance
- "Poro in pictures" : with a short history of its development
- Collection of Valmor Products Co. product labels.
Additionally, Information about the economic life of rural "free blacks" of the nineteenth century is quite scarce. But, we've discovered there are "ledger books" which were kept by country store owners, farmers, etc., that often detailed economic transactions with African American laborers and farmers.
- Cook Almy Ledgers, 1795-1836
- Bernard McSherry and Richard Coale Tavern Ledgers, 1784-1791
- Vinton, Josiah, Account Book on Stone Shipping in Braintree, Massachusetts, 1806-1811
In honor of congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis (1940-2020), Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology has created a collection of books that visually document the 1960s Civil Rights movement. Among other items, this list features art and photography books that include events like the 1963 March on Washington, which Lewis helped to organize, and the 1965 march for voters’ rights from Selma to Montgomery, during which (on Mar. 7 - Bloody Sunday) Lewis and his fellow demonstrators were beaten by Alabama police.
To encourage learning and research in systemic racism, racial justice, and anti-racism, Princeton University Library staff highlight the following notable books available at the Library.
PUL has begun a nearly comprehensive collection of current newspapers published for African American audiences throughout the United States, featuring 72 newspapers from cities and towns in 32 states, ranging from New York City to Eutaw, Alabama.
Highlighting archival materials about and by Black and Latinx communities: Selections from the Mudd Library blog
PUL highlights a number of books written by Black LGBTQIA authors or about Black LGBTQIA lives, stories, and histories, selected from the Gender & Sexuality Studies Collection at Firestone Library. PUL is committed to preserving, featuring, and supporting these historically underrepresented voices in the collections.
The guide includes links to primary documents including Documenting Ferguson, A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, and Campaign Zero platform. Additionally, the guide includes links to statistics and data resources, as well as a list of books that explore issues of race, policing, and incarceration.
Compiled by the Office of Library Communications
Updated February 1, 2024