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Special Collections
Hornbake Library
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Tel: 301-405-9212
Fax: 301-314-2709
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Collections by Subject: African American History Resources

A Selected List of Holdings in Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries

For more information about how to access materials in this guide, please visit the Maryland room web page or fill out an information request.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this Subject Guide:

University Publications

For more information, visit the University Archives

The university publications collection consists of a wide variety of printed materials produced by and about the various administrative units, academic departments, and student groups on the College Park campus. The listing below includes those publications that are specifically oriented toward the African-American experience on campus or issues of concern to the African-American community. Many other documents in this collection, such as annual reports from various offices, compilations of statistics, and publications like yearbooks, the Outlook, and the Diamondback, all periodically contain material related to African-Americans or African-American issues. The university's many departments and divisions continue to create publications which are added to this collection.

The Archives and Manuscripts Department maintains a card catalog and backlog list for university publications. Particularly useful headings to examine in the card catalog include affirmative action, African-Americans, Afro-Americans, black students, minority students, minority affairs, or negro students. The backlog list should also be examined to identify offices or other units producing relevant materials.

In the listing below, headings under which items may be located are underlined followed by related individual titles within that category.

Afro-American Studies Program. The Afro-American Studies program produces a quarterly publication entitled the AASP Newsletter. The Journal of Southern African Affairs was also published by the department from 1976 to 1979. In addition, fliers and announcements of events sponsored by the program are also held in the collection.

Division of Agricultural and Life Sciences. This grouping includes a 1977 report entitled "Minority Americans in the Agricultural and Life Sciences."

Agricultural Experiment Station. The Agricultural Experiment Station's Bulletin #X4 is entitled "The Economic and Social Status of Rural Negro Families in Maryland" (1948).

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Many of the University's employees are members of this organization. The union produces a newsletter, AFSCME in Action, which contains frequent articles on African- American members and community concerns.

Association of Black Faculty and Staff. This group has produced several position papers and reports concerning African- American issues within the campus community as well as a statement of goals for the organization, dated 1970.

Central Administration. A series of annual reports on minority business activity in the on- and off-campus communities was produced by this office.

Counseling Center. The Counseling Center has produced numerous research reports that deal with African-American issues and concerns both among student groups and off-campus communities. These reports cover a wide variety of topics, including racial profiles of incoming students and different aspects of the racial attitudes of the student community.

Cooperative Extension Service. The Cooperative Extension Service (CES) published a study entitled Bittersweet Perspectives on Maryland's Extension Service (1990). This report summarizes and discusses the role of African-Americans in the Extension Service since its inception in 1914. The CES holdings also include some of the combined annual reports produced by individual county agents identified in the Bittersweet Perspectives study and the 1959 report entitled "Report on Negro County Work Demonstration Programs."

Cultural Study Center. The Cultural Study Center produced numerous publications concerning African-Americans on campus, in academia, and in the world community.

Data Research Center. This office produced a variety of reports on student population demographics, academic qualifications of incoming students, and other statistical compilations including information on African-Americans at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Department of Geography. The Department of Geography published a geographical perspective on the black community in Annapolis ca. 1870-1885 (Occasional Paper #4).

Office of Graduate Minority Affairs. This office produced a black graduate student directory for the 1988-1989 academic year.

Department of History. The Department of History produced "The Report of the Special Committee on Afro-American Studies" in 1969. The department also publishes the journal Maryland Historian, which contains occasional articles on aspects of the African-American community both on- and off-campus.

History of the University of Maryland. Publications produced by a variety of campus groups, organizations, and individuals have been placed under this heading. This grouping contains material related to student demonstrations and unrest on the campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s, much of which is related to African-American concerns of the time. Two published histories of the university have also been placed under this heading. George Callcott's A History of the University of Maryland contains sections on desegregation and related issues at the university. Wilson Elkins' memoirs, Forty Years as a College President, contains discussions of African-American student protests at the university in the 1960s and 1970s.

Office of Human Relations. This office is responsible for the overall planning and supervision of affirmative action programs for the university and has produced numerous reports detailing both the structure and the implementation of these programs. In addition, this office has published selected reports on desegregation and integration, discrimination, and other topics of concern to the African- American student community.

Office of Institutional Research. This office produced a variety of reports on student population demographics, academic qualifications of incoming students, and other statistical compilations including information on African- Americans at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Office of Institutional Studies. This office succeeded the Office of Institutional Research discussed above. It produces compilations of statistical data on the racial composition of the College Park campus community and other related topics.

Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering. The collection contains two publications from this unit, a report on a science enrichment program for local junior high schools and a brochure about the center for prospective minority science and engineering students.

Office of Minority Student Affairs. A report titled "A Proposal to the University of Maryland Administration for the Funding of the Nyumburu Community Cultural Center" was published by this office in 1972. The collection also holds a program for the 1986 Minority Focus Day produced by this office.

Office of Minority Student Education. This office was the successor to the Office of Minority Student Affairs. The office produced numerous reports, newsletters, programs, and other publications by and about minority students at the University of Maryland.

Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education. The proceedings of two annual conferences sponsored by this office are held in the collection. These reports are titled Retention 2000: Leadership and Empowerment Strategies for Ethnic Minorities in Higher Education, published in 1992, and Retention 2000: Strategies That Empower: Collaborate, Educate, and Excel, published in 1993.

Nyumburu Cultural Center. A single brochure produced by the center listing student groups and activities oriented toward African-Americans is held in the collection.

Office of the President (UMCP). The President's Office has periodically produced reports on minority recruitment and retention, and has compiled statistics regarding minority graduation. The President's Office policy and procedures manual contains official university policies regarding a range of issues of concern to the African-American community on campus. In addition, the office has produced two reports that deal specifically with issues of concern to African-American students, faculty, and staff at the university. The first of these, produced in 1989, is entitled Access Is Not Enough: A Report to the President Concerning Opportunities for Blacks at the University of Maryland at College Park. The second report, produced in 1993, is entitled Decision and Report of the University of Maryland at College Park Regarding the Benjamin Banneker Scholarship Program.

Board of Regents. The Board periodically produces reports on student population demographics and other statistics that contain information regarding African-American students. A 1968 Regents' report by Wilson H. Elkins is also present in the collection; this report is entitled "Statement in Response to Questions Raised by Students and Faculty Members Pertaining to Opportunities for Negroes at the University of Maryland."

Office of Student Affairs. The publications from this office include material from an institutional racism workshop conducted by the office in 1971.

Office of Student Aid. In 1975, the Office of Student Aid produced a series of reports on the NAACP hearings concerning the problems of higher education in Maryland.

Office of Student Financial Aid. The Black Coalition of the University of Maryland Campuses produced a position paper and recommendations for this office on creating a model minority financial aid and grant program for the state of Maryland.

Student Organizations. A variety of African-American-oriented student organizations have produced reports or other publications that are part of this collection. These groups include the Black Graduating Seniors Committee, Black Student Union, Black Women's Council, Mary McLeod Bethune Society, Maryland Gospel Choir, and National Black Feminist Organization.

Student Publications. The collection holds a number of student publications by or about African-Americans. These publications include: Black Explosion, Eclipse, NIA: A Mini-Anthology of Black Writing at the University of Maryland, and Ebony Spotlight.

Task Forces and Committees. The Chancellor's office and other organizations on campus have sponsored task forces that have produced reports grouped under this heading. Subjects of task force reports include: academic achievement of student athletes; desegregation planning; ethnic and minority issues; excellence through diversity programs; minority student education; violence and extremism; and black student demonstrations.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has produced two newsletters, the Minority Perspective and the Minority Presence, for new students at the university.

The Office of Undergraduate Studies. In February 2010, the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Office of the Provost published Meeting the Challenge of Diversity 1968-1976: The Intensive Educational Development Program and Change at the University of Maryland. In detailing the history of the IED program, the report, available here, documents the university's transformation from "an intentionally white school" to a "modern university that is known for its gifted and multicultural study body."

Maryland Manuscripts

For more information, visit Historical Manuscripts

The Maryland Manuscripts grouping consists of a diverse array of materials, including letters, diaries, printed ephemera, and legal records, many of which relate to the history of African-Americans in Maryland and the United States during the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. A major category within the collection consists of slavery-related documents. This material includes correspondence, bounties for military service of slaves, slave deeds, legal and financial records, broadsides, petitions for freedom, manumissions, travel permits, inventories, and reports.

The Maryland Manuscripts Collection includes several items of special interest pertaining to African-Americans:

MDMS 4077 Charles Benedict Calvert Slave Account Book--This book includes a list of the names, ages, values, and sale price for over 330 slaves residing at several of Calvert's farms in Maryland during the mid-nineteenth century.

MDMS 4256 Abigail Fisher Album of Memory--This album contains poems, words of advice, and signatures of people with whom Abigail Fisher came into contact during the period 1825 to 1847. One of these individuals was Frederick Douglass, who wrote a short poem and signed Fisher's book.

MDMS 4707 Cedar Haven Documents--The Cedar Haven Documents consist of a promotional scrapbook, section plans, and a flyer for a proposed waterfront development designed as a vacation community for African-Americans. This material, dating roughly between 1926 and 1931, also includes photographs of Mordecai Johnson, first African-American president of Howard University, and George William Cook, dean of Howard University's School of Commerce and Finance.

MDMS 5213 John Jacob Omenhausser Sketchbook--This sketchbook is comprised of sixty-two water color paintings depicting daily life in the Civil War prison camp at Point Lookout in St. Mary's County, Maryland. The sketches include images of African-American prisoners and soldiers.

MDMS 5389 Ignatious Davis Broadside--This broadside, dated 1793, contains a description of an escaped slave named Arch, and offers a ten dollar reward for his return. Arch's appearance, clothing, and mannerisms are described in some detail.

Authors and Poets

For more information, visit Literary Manuscripts

The Authors and Poets collection is a grouping of correspondence, manuscripts, poetry, lyrics, recordings, and other materials relating to various major literary figures. Three African-Americans, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar, are represented in this collection. Baldwin's works consist of a recorded reading and a press release dating from 1963 and 1968. Items by or about Baraka include galley proofs, newspaper and magazine articles, broadsides, typed manuscripts, and a show card; several of these items are undated, and the remainder are from the period between 1969 and 1972. A single, undated, musical score on which Paul Lawrence Dunbar collected with Leoni Franco is included in the collection.


The holdings of the Archives and Manuscript Department include numerous images of African-Americans both on and off the University of Maryland at College Park campus. In particular, images from the Leon Washington Condol collection depict various family members including "Auntie" Cord, a cook in the household of Mark Twain. Works Progress Administration photographs included in the collection record African-Americans at work in the first half of the twentieth century. In addition, collections from the Office of Sports Information contain images of African-American student athletes.