University of Delaware

Chronicling the African American experience

Library makes available 'African American Newspapers, 1827-1998'


3:50 p.m., June 8, 2012--The University of Delaware Library announces the online access to a much acclaimed new database, African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, which will provide online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. 

This unique collection features newspapers from more than 35 states -- including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles. Newly digitized, these newspapers initially published by or for African Americans can now be browsed and searched as never before. 

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African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, is available via the Library web page or directly on the Library database page at

The acquisition of African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, honors the service of Tom Apple as provost of the University of Delaware, from 2009-12 and is made possible through the support of the Office of the Provost, the 2012 Louis L. Redding Diversity Award and the University of Delaware Library.

African American Newspapers is interdisciplinary by nature and will continue the growth of the digital humanities effort at the University of Delaware,” said Susan Brynteson, vice provost and May Morris Director of Libraries. “Thank you to the many persons at the University of Delaware who were so interested in and advocated for this new e-resource.” 

She added that many students and faculty had been in touch with her requesting the acquisition of the database and attesting to its research value for their work. “It also is a fitting acquisition for the Library to honor Tom Apple who has been so supportive of both the University of Delaware Library and the University of Delaware efforts to enhance diversity in the academic experience.”

Part of the Readex America's Historical Newspapers collection, African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, was created from the most extensive African American newspaper archives in the United States, those of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Kansas State Historical Society and the Library of Congress. Selections were guided by James Danky, editor of African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography

Beginning with Freedom's Journal (NY), the first African American newspaper published in the United States, the titles in this resource include The Colored Citizen (KS), Arkansas State Press, Rights of All (NY), Wisconsin Afro-American, New York Age, L'Union (LA), Northern Star and Freeman's Advocate (NY), Richmond Planet, Cleveland Gazette, The Appeal (MN) and hundreds of others from every region of the United States. 

A richly detailed record of the African American past, African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 offers researchers valuable primary sources for such diverse disciplines as cultural, literary and social history; ethnic studies and more. Users are able to compare and contrast African American views on practically every major theme of the American past. 

Coverage spans life in the Antebellum South; the spread of abolitionism; growth of the Black church; the Emancipation Proclamation; the Jim Crow Era; the Great Migration to northern cities, the West and Midwest in search of greater opportunity; rise of the N.A.A.C.P.; the Harlem Renaissance; the Civil Rights movement; political and economic empowerment and more. Teachers and students will find firsthand perspectives on notable Americans from Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington to W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as obituaries, advertisements, editorials and illustrations. 

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, can be cross-searched with all other Archives of Americana collections, including America’s Historical Imprints, America’s Historical Newspapers, American State Papers, 1789-1838, and U. S. Congressional Serial Set.

Brynteson said that the University of Delaware Library is delighted to provide access to this rich assortment of electronic resources that may be used as a result of legal licenses by University of Delaware students, faculty and staff. 

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