Black History Resources at Vanderbilt University Libraries

The Vanderbilt Libraries are pleased to shine a spotlight on our Black History resources this month, when the culture and contributions of African Americans take center stage.

Streaming Documentaries and Cinema
Our History Makers Oral History Collection is a video collection including prominent African American leaders with connections to Vanderbilt University including interviews with former faculty Dr. Sylvia Bozeman (MA’70) and local historian and community leader, David Ewing (JD’92).

Kanopy provides access to more than 26,000 films and documentaries from a variety of independent filmmakers and distributors, including the BBC, PBS and the Criterion Collection. Their Black History Month collection features 20 films and documentaries, including Oscar Winner for Best Picture, Moonlight, and Freedom Riders, the PBS documentary series based on Raymond Arsenault’s award-winning book, also available at Central Library and as an e-book.

Special Collections and University Archives
The library’s distinctive collections are areas of particular strength that set Vanderbilt apart from other research libraries. The History of Undergraduate Desegregation at Vanderbilt Collection features interview focused on student experiences and perspectives on desegregation during the mid-1960s. The John Egerton Papers, 1950s-2003, focus on his contributions to civil rights, desegregation, race relations, Southern history, and Southern food. A selection of materials are available through our online exhibition, 20th Century Civil Rights.

Peabody Library Youth Collection
This month, The Peabody Library Youth Collection’s display focuses on children’s literature featuring African American authors, characters and themes. Visit the collection’s Pinterest page for a preview of some of the titles on display. The exhibit is also available in person for Vanderbilt faculty, students, and staff at Peabody Library.

Newspapers & Magazines
Founded in 1991, the Tennessee Tribune is a state-wide circulating black newspaper featuring content from Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The digital archive is in our Library Catalog.  Additional historical Black Tennessee newspapers are available through the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America. Through Vanderbilt’s partnership with Ebsco, Ebony Magazine digital archives are available.

Additional Exploration
The African American and Diaspora Studies databases and our Black Lives Matter Research Guide are all doorways to a variety of resource materials regularly updated by librarians. Among many amazing Black History primary resources housed in JSTOR, Vanderbilt holds The American anti-slavery almanac for 1841. If you have questions or want to learn more about any of these resources, please submit your request to Ask a Librarian on our homepage.

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