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Collecting Policy for the Southern Historical Collection

African American Life and Culture

Collecting History

From its earliest days the SHC has acquired documentation of African Americans in the South. For nineteenth- and early twentieth-century collections, this documentation is often embedded in the papers of planters and other white southerners. In recent decades, curators have acquired more materials created by African Americans--families, businesses and other organizations, civil rights leaders, churches, and others. Now African American life is a primary collecting focus for the SHC.

Current Collecting

The SHC seeks archival material substantively documenting all aspects of African American life in the South. The following subjects are of particular interest, given collection strengths and University associations: slavery and free blacks before the Civil War; family life and family history; efforts to advance equal treatment and justice for African Americans; race relations; political activity; business ventures; workers and organized labor; journalists; and artists. Collection development beyond these areas is flexible and open to opportunities.