Afro-American Council, 13th annual meeting, Oakland, 1907 Sloan Blanding; Quilting by members of a colored cooperative unit, Los Angeles, nd Peter Breinig; CORE Pickets at Pennys Peterson, Barney; Huey Newton trial, second day, July 16, 1968

Resources for the study of the African American experience are rich, varied, and abundant at The Bancroft Library. For many years, The Library has been actively building a research-level collection in African-Americana consisting of major published source materials, manuscripts, photographs and assorted ephemera. The collections document a variety of areas but fall chiefly in the humanities, social sciences, law, botany, and health sciences.

For several decades, The Bancroft Library has successfully acquired almost everything published by and about major African American writers including pamphlets, introductions, prefaces, and important critical and bibliographical material. Launched in 1978, The Bancroft Library’s African American Writers Collection contains thousands of books, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and other rare works by African American authors. Materials range in date from the 1790’s to the present and are regularly used by students, faculty, and outside scholars.

Library holdings include the papers of many notable writers such as Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Ted Joans. The book collection includes essentially all important contemporary black American writers. The Library places particular emphasis on works produced by blacks of the American West. The Bancroft Library also serves as the repository for several local African American organizations such as the NAACP West Coast Region, the Records of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the Black Scholar Journal.

With this website, we plan to highlight African American resources in California. There are so many scholarly resources, in a wide variety of formats, and located in so many places that students, faculty, and other researchers can benefit from the creation of an "umbrella" web site that pulls these rich resources together to enhance their exposure and increase their usability. We envision this site to be more than a simple list of resources. We plan to create pertinent bibliographies, develop an historical narrative of African Americans in California, and create a visual, chronological story of the influence of African Americans in California.

The Bancroft Library in partnership with Wells Fargo
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Images (left to right):
Afro-American Council, 13th annual meeting, Oakland, 1907, Portrait File of The Bancroft Library, BANC PIC 1905.00002--POR.
Sloan Blanding; Quilting by members of a colored cooperative unit, Los Angeles, nd, Personalities and activities of the self-help cooperatives of California, BANC PIC 1905.17139:36-- A.
Peter Breinig; CORE Pickets at Pennys, African Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, BANC PIC 1985.079:1- -AX.
Peterson, Barney; Huey Newton trial, second day, July 16, 1968, African Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, BANC PIC 1985.079:31-- AX.
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NAACP Archival Project (link) Search the Collection (link) Historical Timelines (link) Related Resources (link)