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Archives and Special Collections
Finding A Way Exhibit
Visit 'Finding A Way'
On February 6, 1983 “Finding A Way: The Black Family’s Struggle for an Education at the Atlanta University Center” opened at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center. Created by the African American Family History Association (AAFHA) and largely funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the exhibit was the third in a series examining Black family history in Georgia. Through these exhibits and other educational activities, AAFHA increased public awareness of and appreciation for the significance of black family heritage.
Collections at the AUC Archives Research Center
Supporting Research, Study, and Scholarship... Immersed within the historic Atlanta University Center is one of the richest collections of primary and secondary resources on African American and African Diaspora history and culture. The Archives & Special Collections at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center is comprised of an extensive and unique collection of books, personal papers of individuals and families, and administrative records of organizations and institutions. The collections cover a broad range of subjects documenting the impact of race and racism on the lives of Black people and their endeavors for freedom, self-determination, equality, and empowerment. The subject focus expands to embrace documentation on the commonality of culture and interconnectedness of fate, experiences, and aspirations of people of African descent.
Materials are available for research and study to faculties and students of academic institutions and the general public. Patrons are advised to browse through our Collection Highlights to find topics and people of interest. Please review our Reading Room Policies and Procedures before making an appointment to visit. Contact us with any research inquiries or to schedule an appointment. Click here for more on the History and Purpose of our Archives & Special Collections.
Directions to the ARC
The Archives Research Center is located on the Upper Level of AUC - Woodruff Library (via the Virginia Lacy Jones Exhibition Hall).
Hours of Operation
AUC - Woodruff Library and AUC - Archives Research Center Calendars
Researchers planning to visit the Archives are strongly encouraged to make an appointment.
Alphabetical , By Department
Book Collection Highlights
The book holdings in Archives & Special Collections include first edition titles, limited printings, autographed, unique and rare publications. The primary focus of the collection is the African American experience. In addition, there are significant holdings on African and Caribbean history, politics, literature, and art. The foundation of book holdings is from the Atlanta University Trevor Arnett Library Negro Collection that was established in 1925. Notable among the Negro Collection was the Countee Cullen Memorial Collection established in 1942 and the personal library of bibliophile Henry P. Slaughter purchased in 1946. Since the establishment of the Robert W. Woodruff Library in 1982, additional gifts of personal libraries have been acquired including those of historian and civic leader Clarence Bacote (1906-1981), editor and author Hoyt Fuller (1923-1981), and educator and author C. Eric Lincoln (1924-2000). These book collections accompanied the donation of personal papers of the individuals that are available for research. The most recent donation received in 1992 is the personal library of John Henrik Clarke. Books from these collections are identifiable by bookplates with the appropriate collection name attached inside the front book cover.
View more information on the Countee Cullen Memorial Collection
View more information on the Henry P. Slaughter Collection
View more information on the John Henrik Clarke Africana Collection
Click on the names of the following individuals to see the descriptions of their respective manuscript collections: Clarence Bacote, Hoyt Fuller, and C. Eric Lincoln
Search for missing books
If an item cannot be located on the shelf, Library users are encouraged to ask the Circulation staff for assistance. Users may request Circulation staff to conduct an on-demand and periodic search for the missing item.
If not located immediately, Circulation staff will check the stacks at regular intervals and notify the requester of the results via email or telephone. Users are encouraged to place an Interlibrary Loan request for time sensitive items
Manuscript and Archival Collection Highlights
The core of the manuscript holdings in Archives & Special Collections is built upon the Atlanta University Trevor Arnett Library's Negro Collection. Under the auspices of the Robert W. Woodruff Library, the archival and manuscript holdings continue to develop and expand. The collections document civil rights, race relations, education, literature, visual and performing arts, religion, politics, and social work.
Collections include: the Countee Cullen/Harold Jackman Memorial Collection, and papers of Hoyt Fuller and Wayman Carver that focus on black contributions to literature, music, performing and visual arts; personal papers of scholars C. Eric Lincoln and Walter Rodney, and religious leaders Harry V. Richardson and Edler G. Hawkins; records of civil rights organizations such as the Commission on Interracial Cooperation, Southern Regional Council, and Southern Conference for Human Welfare; files documenting African American education such as the Freedmen's Aid Society, Southern Education Foundation, and United Negro College Fund collections; records of women's organizations such as The Chautauqua Circle and The Moles; and academic professional associations such as the College Language Association, National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, and Southern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel. There are also significant holdings about African Americans in Atlanta and documentation about the Atlanta University Center schools - Atlanta University and Clark College - now Clark Atlanta University, The Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman Colleges.
Click here to Search Archival Collections within Archives Research Center.
Click here for a complete listing and descriptions of Manuscript and Archival Collections
Click here for information on Documentation of the Atlanta University Center Institutions
A finding aid describing the content of each collection is available in paper format and may be purchased for the cost of photocopying. Some electronic finding aids may be available free and sent via email.
Locating ARC Holdings in the Library's Online Catalog
Search the AUC catalog for books in the library’s collection using the Smart search bar at the top of our web page.
Locations for resources found in the Archives and Special Collections are designated with the phrases "Archives use only" and "Clarke Africana Collection- Archives use only."
Be sure to note pertinent information such as call numbers, titles, author, or name of collections to facilitate the retrieval of materials by Archives & Special Collections staff.
Links to Other Institutions
Selected Repositories with significant African American cultural and historical collections:
- Amistad Research Center (Tulane University), New Orleans, LA
- Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
- (Atlanta-Fulton County Library System), Atlanta, GA)
- ~ Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture (College of Charleston), Charleston, SC
- ~ Birmingham Civil Rights Institute - Archives Division
- ~ Emory University African American Collections
- ~ John Hope Franklin Collection for African and African- American Documentation (Duke University), Chapel Hill, NC
- Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (Howard University), Washington, DC
- ~ Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York Public Library), New York, NY
Selected Atlanta area and Georgia Archival Repositories:
Listings of Archival Repositories:
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