Thursday, January 21, 2010

African American Newspaper Archives


There are a few free newspaper archives available online that focus on the African American community, or on anti-slavery, or both. These are valuable resources for black history in general, and for black family history in particular. I hope to one day see more materials like this available online (Google News Archives, are you listening?).

 But for now, the key materials are:

Freedom's Journal (1827-1829), a weekly publication from New York City, and widely regarded as the first major African-American newspaper in the country.

The Friend of Man (1836-1842), an anti-slavery publication from upstate New York.

The Colored American (1893-early 1900s),  a Washington DC newspaper with a national focus, made available through the Library of Congress.

Muncie Times Newspaper (1991-current). A contemporary African American newspaper serving communities in Indiana, and one of the few I've found with an appreciable archive.

Google News Archives includes several black newspapers, including the Washington Afro-American, and similar publications from Baltimore and Richmond.   To search include source:afro along with your search terms. 


Two other archives of note are subscription services, but have rich collections just the same:

African-American Newspapers: The 19th Century collection, from Accessible Archives

NewspaperArchive.com, is the world's largest online newspaper archive. They haven't yet made clear which of their publications are African American, but with billions of articles to search, they are certainly worth a visit for any serious genealogy researcher.

And lest we forget, a few earlier posts on black family history resources:  African American Genealogy, Michelle Obama's Family Tree, and  Slaves and Slavery.

Don't forget to also check for your family history at Ancestry.com and  NewspaperArchive. These are subscription databases, but they are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots.

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