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Africana Studies

This guide is intended to assist with research into the experiences of peoples of African origin both in Africa and in the African Diaspora.

Africana Primary Sources at Gelman Library

The Special Collections Research Center collects and preserves primary source materials that highlight the role of people of African descent in shaping the fabric of American life and history, with a particular focus on the African American experience in Washington, DC.  The following resources can help you learn about our collections:

  • Our list of collections in Special Collections relating to African and African American History
  • Our bibliography of Africana resources in Special Collections (includes books, manuscript collections, government documents, and more)


Special Collections' Africana-related materials encompass topics including literature, politics, religion, music, and culture.  Some highlights include:

Walter Fauntroy Papers. Walter Fauntroy served Washington DC and the larger community as a religious and political leader and particularly as a leader in the planning for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

United House of Prayer for All People Collection.  This collection contains magazines, church programs, and jewelry related to the history of the United House of Prayer for All People, the founder Bishop C.M. Grace (Sweet Daddy Grace) and Bishop Walter McCollough (Daddy McCollough).

Kip Lornell and Charles Stephenson Washington Go-Go Collection.  The materials, which include correspondence, promotional materials, interviews, photographs, and audio cassette tapes, document the evolution of go-go music and the cultural and political role of go-go in Washington, D.C.

E. Ethelbert Miller Papers.  E. Ethelbert Miller is a highly respected Washington D.C. based poet and literary activist and, since 1974, the Director of the African-American Resource Center at Howard University.  His papers correspondence, fliers, posters, journals, photographs, interviews, and articles that document his own artistic career and the evolution of the poetry scene in Washington.


Online searching for primary sources

ArchiveGrid is a database where thousands of museums, libraries, and archives have contributed information abou their collections, including catalog records and/or finding aids.

Click here to search ArchiveGrid now!

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