American Women's History: A Research Guide
African-American Women
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See also: General Bibliographies/Research Guides

Black Nurses in History: A Bibliography and Guide to Web Resources [online]. Camden, N.J.: UMDNJ and Coriell Research Library, last updated 29 January 1998 [cited 15 October 1998]. Available from:

Davis, Lenwood G. The Black Woman in American Society: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1975.

Davis, Nathaniel, comp. and ed. Afro-American Reference: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Sources. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1985. 288p.

Habjan, Juliet K. African American Women's Lives During the Civil War [online]. n.d. [cited 5 October 1996]. Available from:

Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks, et al., eds. The Harvard Guide to African-American History. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2001. 923p.
A companion CD-ROM packaged with the book includes over 15,000 bibliographic entries.

The Kaiser Index to Black Resources, 1948-1986. New York: Carlson Publishing, Inc., 1992.
An invaluable source for citations that may not be found elsewhere.

Middleton, Ken. African-American Women [online]. In Women in Tennessee History: A Bibliography. 1995- [cited 12 February 1998]. Available from:

Redfern, Bernice. Women of Color in the United States: A Guide to the Literature. New York: Garland Publishing, 1989.

Robertson, Nancy Marie, comp. Sources for National Association of Colored Women and African-American Clubwomen, Race, and Reform. 1996 [cited 16 February 1998]. Available from:

Sims-Wood, Janet L., comp. The Progress of Afro-American Women: A Selected Bibliography and Resource Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1980. 378p.

Southern, Eileen, and Josephine Wright, comps. African-American Traditions in Song, Sermon, Tale, and Dance, 1600s-1920: An Annotated Bibliography of Literature, Collections, and Artworks. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Black Music. New York: Greenwood, 1990. 365p.

Strickland, Arvarh E., and Robert E. Weems, Jr., eds. The African American Experience: An Historiographical and Bibliographical Guide. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001. 447p.
See in particular Wilma King's chapter, "African American Women."

Ten-Year Review of Periodical Literature on African-American Women and Native American Women." Journal of Women's History 4 (Winter 1993): 218-240.

Terborg-Penn, Rosalyn. "Teaching the History of Black Women: A Bibliographical Essay." History Teacher 13 (1980): 245-50.

Winegarten, Ruthe. Black Texas Women: A Sourcebook: Documents, Biographies, Time Line. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996.

Yates, Melinda, comp. An African-American Bibliography: History [Online]. Albany, N.Y.: University of the State of New York, State Education Department, and the New York State Library. January 1992 [cited 15 June 1997]. Available from:

Biographical Sources

See the general Biographical Sources section for additional information sources.

African American Biographical Database. Alexandria, Va.: Chadwyck-Healey, [1998]. Online information from the publisher:

Burkett, Randall K., et al., eds. Black Biography, 1790-1950: A Cumulative Index. 3 vols. Alexandria, Va.: Chadwyck-Healey, 1990.
An index to the nearly 300 biographical dictionaries reproduced on microfiche in the set, Black Biographical Dictionaries, 1790-1950 (Chadwyck-Healey, 1987). Biographical information about many of the 30,000 individuals covered would be difficult to find elsewhere. Note that, due to its high cost, only libraries with large collections in African-American history are likely to have the index and the microfiche set. A list of the 297 collective biographies reproduced in the set can be found at the Indiana University Library web site.

Hine, Darlene Clark, Elsa Barkley Brown, and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, eds. Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson Publishing, 1993. 2 vols.

Lovett, Bobby L., and Linda T. Wynn, eds. Profiles of African Americans in Tennessee [online]. Nashville: Annual Local Conference on Afro-American Culture and History, 1996 [cited 12 February 1998]. Available from:

Salem, Dorothy C., ed. African American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. Hamden, Conn.: Garland, 1993. 622p.

Smith, Jessie Carney, ed. Notable Black American Women. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992.

------. Notable Black American Women: Book II. Detroit: Gale Research, 1996.

Encyclopedias/Historical Overviews

Asante, Molefi K., and Mark T. Mattson. The Historical and Cultural Atlas of African Americans. New York: Macmillan, 1991. 198p.

Earle, Jonathan. The Routledge Atlas of African American History. Routledge Atlases of American History. New York: Routledge, 2000. 144p.

Hine, Darlene Clark, ed. The State of Afro-American History. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1986.
See in particular Hine's chapter, "Lifting the Veil, Shattering Silence: Black Women's History and Freedom."

Hine, Darlene Clark, Elsa Barkley Brown, and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, eds. Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. 2 vols. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson Publishing, 1993.

Hornsby, Alton, Jr. Chronology of African-American History. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991.

Salzman, Jack, et al., eds. Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. 5 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1996.

Savage, Beth L., ed. African American Historic Places. Washington, D.C.: The Preservation Press, 1994.

Smith, Jessie Carney, and Carrell Peterson Horton, eds. Historical Statistics of Black America. Detroit: Gale Research, 1995.
Arranged by topic: vol. 1 covers "Agriculture" to "Labor and Employment;" vol. 2 covers "Media" to "Vital Statistics."

Journals in the Field

Journal of Black Studies []

The North Star: A Journal of African-American Religious History []

Networking Tools: Associations & Discussion Lists


African American Studies Librarians Section []

Discussion Lists

H-Afro-Am []

Primary Sources: Archival Collection Guides

See the general Archives & Manuscript Collections section for additional information sources.


African-American Records [online]. Montgomery: Alabama Department of Archives & History, updated 6 July 2001 [cited 27 January 2003]. Available from:


African American Resources at the CHS [online]. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, c1999 [cited 18 November 2000]. Available from:


The African-American Television Project, University of Georgia Libraries []

Manuscript Sources for African-American History [online]. Atlanta: Special Collections & Archives, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University, 1997 [cited 18 November 2000]. Available from:


Archives of African-American Music and Culture []

Gibbs, Wilma. Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society [online]. [Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 2002 [cited 27 January 2003]. Available from:


Collections Relating to African-American Women [online]. Iowa City: Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, September 2000 [cited 12 March 2002]. Available from:


Amistad Research Center []

Manuscript Resources on African History in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections [online]. Baton Rouge, La.: Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library, Louisiana State University, 31 July 1998 [cited 30 August 1998]. Available from:


African-American Women in the U.S.: Selected Sources in the Sophia Smith Collection and College Archives [online]. [Northampton, Mass.]: Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, n.d. [cited 30 August 1998]. Available from:

van Salis, Susan J. Revealing Documents: A Guide to African American Manuscript Sources in the Schlesinger Library and the Radcliffe College Archives. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1993. 174p.


African American Studies and Black History Materials in Special Collections [online]. [East Lansing]: Michigan State University Libraries, last updated 8 March 1999. Available from:


Black Archives of Mid-America []

New York

Hodges, Martha, comp., updated by Hope Nisly and Patrizia Sione. Primary Sources on African-American Workers [online]. [Ithaca, N.Y.]: Kheel Center for Labor Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University, c1999. Available from:

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture []

North Carolina

Morgan, Jennifer, and Virginia Daley. Retrieving African American Women's History: A Methodological Guide to Sources [online]. 1989 [cited 15 June 1997]. Available from:

Pyatt, Timothy D., ed., Linda Simmons Henry and Lisa Parker, comps. Guide to African-American Documentary Sources in North Carolina [online]. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996 [cited 30 August 1998]. Available from:


Jerrido, Margaret, George Brightbill, and Brenda Galloway-Wright, eds. and comps. Directory of African American Collections in Greater Philadelphia [online]. Philadelphia, Pa. : Temple University, Samuel Paley Library, Urban Archives, 1998.

South Carolina

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, College of Charleston []


Plunkett, Michael. Afro-American Sources in Virginia: A Guide to Manuscripts [online]. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, c1994 [cited 1 September 1998]. Available from:

Washington, D.C.

The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture [online]. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress [cited 30 August 1998]. Available from:

National Archives for Black Women's History []

Salzmann, Katherine. Guide to Resources on Women in the Processed Manuscript Collections of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center [online]. Available from:


African American Collections [online]. Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin, 2000 [cited 18 November 2000. Available from:

Primary Sources: Microform Research Collections

Bibliographies of Microform Collections

Ach, William K. "Sources for the Study of Civil Rights." Microform Review 16 (Fall 1987): 316-28.

Baatz, Wilmer H. "Afro-American Research Material in Microform: A Selected Sampling." Microform Review 17 (October 1988): 190-196.

Bockie, Simon. "African American Microform Collections in the UC Berkeley Library" [online]. 1996 [cited 27 June 1997]. Available from

Ransom, Charles G. "Bibliographies of Microforms Relating to African-Americans." Microform Review 23 (Spring 1994): 64-76.

Specific Microform Collections

Black Biographical Dictionaries, 1790-1950. Alexandria, VA: Chadwyck-Healey, 1987.

Black Workers in the Era of the Great Migration, 1916-1929. Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America, 1985.
Reviewed by Joe W. Trotter in Journal of American History 74 (March 1988): 1398-1401.

Fredi Washington Papers, 1925-1979. New Orleans, La. : Amistad Research Center, [198-?]. 2 microfilm reels.
Washington (1903-1994) was an actress, dancer, casting consultant, and journalist. This collection includes correspondence and clippings of Washington's columns for The People's Voice.

Mary McLeod Bethune Papers: The Bethune-Cookman College Collection, 1922-1955. Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America, 1995.
Review: Microform & Imaging Review 25 (Winter 1996): 38-39.

Mary McLeod Bethune Papers: Bethune Foundation Collection. Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America, 1996- .
Online description from the publisher:

National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses Records, 1908-1951. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1995. 2 microfilm reels.

Papers of Charlotte Hawkins Brown, 1883-1961. Watertown, Mass.: General Microfilm Co., 1984.

Papers of John and Lugenia Burns Hope. Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America, 1984.

Papers of Mary Church Terrell, 1851-1962. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1977.

Records of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Series A, Holdings of the Chicago Historical Society and the Newberry Library, 1925-1969. Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America, 1990-1994. 50 microfilm reels.
See in particular Part 2, Records of the Ladies Auxiliary of the BSCP, 1931-1968.

Records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1895-1992. Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America, 1994.
Review: Microform Review 24 (Summer 1995): 146-49.

Primary Sources: Newspapers & Periodicals

African-American Newspapers: The 19th Century [CD-ROM]. Malvern, PA: Accessible Archives, Inc., 1998- .

Danky, James P., and Maureen E. Hady, eds. African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998.
The "Subject and Features Index" lists over 150 publications about women.

Primary Sources: Selected Books

Hill, Ruth Edmonds, ed. The Black Women Oral History Project: From the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe College. 10 vols. Westport, Conn.: Meckler, 1991.

Lerner, Gerda, ed. Black Women in White America: A Documentary History. New York: Pantheon, 1972.

Sterling, Dorothy, ed. We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: W.W. Norton, 1984.

Talking About Women's History

Gender and Race: Together At Last? [video online]. Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, 16 March 2004 [cited 20 March 2004]. Available from:
This site includes conference presentations by Drew Gilpin Faust, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Darlene Clark Hine, Nell Irvin Painter, and Deborah Gray White.

Gordon-Reed, Annette. [Interview] [online]. Interviewed by Brian Lamb. Booknotes. C-SPAN, 21 February 1999. Available from:
Gordon-Reed discusses her book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings: An American Controversy.

Griffin, Farah Jasmine. Blue Notes and Butterflies: Black Women's Vocality [Lecture online]. Cambridge, Mass.: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 20 September 2001 [cited 3 November 2002]. Available from:
The site also includes an interview in which Griffin discusses her book, If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (New York: Free Press, 2001).

Harley, Sharon. Sister Circle [Interview online]. Interviewed by George Liston Seay. Talking History, 11 September 2003. Available from:
Harley and Seay discuss black women and work in American history.

Jefferson's Blood: Thomas Jefferson, His Slave & Mistress Sally Hemings, Their Descendents, and the Mysterious Power of Race [online]. [Boston, Mass.]: WGBH/Boston, 2000.
This companion site to the PBS Frontline series includes Interiews with Joseph Ellis, Annette Gordon-Reed, Lucia Cinder Stanton, and Dr. Eugene Foster.

Margolick, David. Billie Holiday-Strange Fruit [online]. Talking History, 4 February 2002. Available from:
Margolick discusses Strange Fruit, a song made famous by Billie Holiday about lynching in the South.

McMurry, Linda. [Interview] [online]. Interviewed by Brian Lamb. Booknotes. C-SPAN, 26 September 1999. Available from:
Topic: To Keep the Waters Troubled: The Life of Ida B. Wells.

On-Line Academy Series [online]. Washington, DC: Anacostia Musuem and Center for African American History and Culture, 2002.
In the "Scholars" section, historians discuss the importance of various artifacts (e.g., travel maps for African Americans, quilts made by African-American men).

'The Quilts of Gee's Bend': A Showcase of Distinctive Work by African-American Artists [online]. Talk of the Nation, 4 February 2003. Available from:

Washington-Williams, Essie Mae. 'Dear Senator,' from Strom Thurmond's Daughter [Interview online]. Interviewed by Terry Gross. Fresh Air, 1 February 2005. Available from:

American Women's History: A Research Guide

Ken Middleton
Suggestions/comments to:
Middle Tennessee State University Library