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African American Historical Serials Collection FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions about African American Historical Serials Collection, part of EBSCO's Digital Archives Collection. Click on the question links to read the answers.

What is the African American Historical Serials Collection?
The African American Historical Serials Collection, developed in conjunction with American Theological Library Association (ATLA) as an effort to preserve endangered serials related to African American religious life and culture, features more than 170 unique publications spanning from 1829 through 1922. This collection includes periodicals, newspapers and magazines, in addition to reports and annuals from various African American organizations, including churches and educational and service institutions.

The culmination of more than 10 years of organizing and collecting materials, the African American Historical Serials Collection is a centralized and accessible resource of formerly fragmentary, widely-dispersed and endangered materials originating from various resources, including some that had not previously participated in preservation projects. Now compiled and accessible to researchers in one digital collection, this unique resource documents the history of African American life and religious organizations in the 19th century United States.

The African American Historical Serials Collection is presented through an innovative and dynamic digital interface specifically designed for this content, enabling scholars and students to interact with the material in new ways. The interface replicates the experience of browsing and reading original archival material while also allowing keyword searching, manipulation of page views, note-taking capabilities, and various downloading options.

To view a complete product description, key content features, and a coverage list for African American Historical Serials Collection, click here.

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What denominations are represented in the collection?
Prominent denominations include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Zion Church, and various Baptist churches.

What organizations are represented in the collection?
Prominent African American organizations include the Institute for Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Colored Youths of the State of Texas, Gammon Theological Seminary, the Institute for Colored Youth (Philadelphia, PA), and the Home for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons (Philadelphia, PA)

Where were the various titles in the collection published?
Titles in the collection were published in a broad range of cities throughout the United States. The top publication locations include: Philadelphia, PA; Nashville, TN; Atlanta, GA; New York, NY; Baltimore, MD; Austin, TX. While prominent publishing cities like Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY are present, the vast majority of the titles in the collection were published in other cities. Please consult the collection title list for a complete listing of publication locations by title.

Where can I find more information about the African American Historical Serials Collection?
Our marketing site offers more information about the collection, including information on initiating a free trial and a title list you can download. Click here.

How does EBSCO’s African American Historical Serials Collection, 1829-1922, compare to Readex’s African American Periodicals, 1825-1995?
There is no title overlap whatsoever between the two collections and their content is quite different. The EBSCO African American Historical Serials Collection contains 170 rare, historic titles all published prior to 1922, focusing largely on religious and charity-based organizations, institutions, and churches. The Readex collection is largely contemporary and secular in nature, with less than 20 of its 170+ titles starting before 1922.

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Sample/Demonstration Searches
From the Advanced Search screen, enter the following terms in the Find field, following the steps described below:

Slavery

  1. Select TX – All Text in the Select a field (optional) drop-down box
  2. Notice the rich diversity of results dating back to 1833, many of which challenge the morality of slaveholding from a Christian perspective.

Temperance

  1. Select TX – All Text in the Select a field (optional) drop-down box
  2. Note the wide range of results on this very prominent social issue in 19th-Century America.

"Jim Crow"

  1. Select TX – All Text in the Select a field (optional) drop-down box
  2. The search results for this term reveal a diversity of perspective and opinion dating back to 1890. The usage of the term in the 1890s is historically early usage.

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