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Black Studies

A selective guide to recommended research resources in Black Studies

Featured Resource

W.E.B. Du Bois Papers, 1803-1999 
From the NEH: "W.E.B. Du Bois stands as one of the twentieth century's deepest thinkers and greatest writers, whose extraordinary gifts as a scholar helped shape modern sociology, and whose social conscience shaped the global movement for civil rights." His complete papers are now freely accessible online via the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. 

Queen's Archives and Special Collections

Queen's Archives
The Archives houses approximately 10 kilometres of textual records, 2 million photographs, tens of thousands of architectural plans and drawings, and thousands of sound recordings and moving images.

Holdings Include:

  • Wahenga: The Queen’s University Black History Journal - Wahenga was produced by the Queen's University Black History Collective. The journal was governed by an editorial board that focused on issues that affect the Black population in all spheres of life and included articles, critical essays, film and book reviews and poetry. The journal was printed Newman Printing in Kingston and published twice a year. (Print resource available in Reading Room)
  • I too sing Oh Canada (1997) - Using historical documents, interviews and personal genealogies, Shernold Edwards examines the history of Black Canadians in Kingston from both an historical perspective and the contemporary reality of being a student at Queen's University. (Film, available in Reading Room)
  • Records of Antebellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War: Series A collection: This collection of 41 reels of microfilm was brought together by the University Publications of America (UPA) to provide reference material for the study of the history of the Southern United States. The material can be consulted in the Archives Reading Room. A listing of the reels can be found here.
  • - Emerging in 2005 from a series of trolley tours sponsored by the Queen’s University Archives, Stones has grown to present the work of a number of researchers and the history of a number of communities. The Black History tour of Kingston highlights the lives of some of Kingston’s more noteworthy Black citizens by visiting sites connected with them.

W.D. Jordan Library Special Collections
Special Collections is a rich and diverse research resource containing a wide range of printed and visual materials.

Holdings include:

  • Several original issues of the journal, Black Orpheus: a journal of African and Afro-American literature, and its later title, Black Orpheus: a journal of the arts in Africa. Black Orpheus (1957-1975) was a pioneering journal for intellectual and literary debate with a pan-African focus.
  • Conference proceedings to, The 1st International Conference of Negro Writers and Artists, Paris, Sorbonne, 19th-22nd September 1956 
  • The Lambo Collection consisting of 77 books from the private library of Thomas Adeoye Lambo, OBE (1923-2004). Dr. Lambo was a psychiatrist of indigenous Nigerian (Yoruba) background and a key contributor to the international development of transcultural psychiatry from the 1950s to the 1980s.  Among his many notable accomplishments, he served as Deputy Director General of the World Health Organization, 1973-1988, and was the visiting Hannah Professor of History of Medical and Related Sciences at Queen's in 1977.
  • Onitsha Market Literature -- a collection of pamphlets sold at the Onitsha market in Nigeria in the 1950s-70s, covering a wide range of topics.

Public Opinion Polls

Black Lives Matter: 80 Years of Black Americans’ Public Opinion and How the U.S. Public Views Black America
The Roper Center, an US archive for public opinion polls, has created a guide related to Black Lives Matter: "In addition to describing the sources on national polling on race over the last 80 years, we also highlight polls of Black Americans and provide a primer on doing research on Black public opinion, list some resources on global public opinion of segregation in the US from midcentury, and offer charts from current polls. All data, topline, reports and other materials referenced on these pages are available to Roper members immediately and will be shared freely with non-members by request." 


Digital Collections

African American Poetry
African American poetry texts, from the first recorded poem by an African American to the major poets of the nineteenth century.

African American Newspapers: The Nineteenth Century
This unique collection of African American Newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 19th century and is rich with first–hand reporting on the major events and issues of the day. 

Black Drama: 1850 - present
Contains the full text of 1,200 plays by more than 100 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa, and the Caribbean, and "includes musical comedies, domestic dramas, folk dramas, history plays, anti-slavery plays, one-act plays, and other works."

Black Studies Center
Black Studies Center is a fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies including scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, reference books and much more.

Black Thought and Culture: African Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
Contains 1,303 sources with 1,210 authors, covering the non-fiction published works of leading African Americans. 

Empire Online  
Collection of primary source documents on colonial history, politics, and culture from 1492 to 2007, primarily about the British Empire, especially Africa, the Americas, Australia, Oceania, and South Asia.

Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007
Covers the varieties of slavery, the legacy of slavery, the social justice perspective and the continued existence of slavery today. 

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law
This collection brings together, for the first time, all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world.

Twentieth Century African American Poetry
A database of modern and contemporary African American poetry, featuring almost 9,000 poems by 62 of the most important African American poets of the last century, including Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Imamu Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde and Rita Dove.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000
A database consisting of primary sources, books, images and other materials, organized around the topic of American women in social movements. Includes the Black Woman Suffragists collection.