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February 23, 1994

Mosaic Resource Guide To Materials on African-American Culture and History at the Library of Congress Now Available

The Library of Congress has just published The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. This 300-page volume provides an extensive overview of the Library's vast holdings on the African-Americans experience, ranging from bibliographies on slavery and discographies of contemporary recordings to descriptions of television documentaries on the civil rights eraand portrayals of African-Americans in popular films.

Debra Newman Ham, a specialist in Afro-American history and culture in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress,compiled and edited the volume, incorporating information providedby seven other specialists who are familiar with the collections. In her preface the editor calls the collected materials "a rich mosaic of African-American life that depicts scorn and admiration,defeat and triumph, tears and laughter." This guide reflects thefull range of subjects and formats available in the Library'scollections and lists numerous examples of government documents, manuscripts, books, photographs, recordings, and films that examine African-American accomplishments. Examples include:

  • Information on the slave trade, domestic slavery, and abolition which was among the books Congress purchased from ThomasJefferson to replace the congressional library burned by the British in the War of 1812;
  • Books, plays, newspapers, magazines, sheet music, prints, photographs, maps and music by and about African-Americans dating back to 1870 that were deposited in the Library of Congress for copyright registration;
  • Frederick Remington's 1889 illustrations and Edgar Alexander Mearns's photographs of the "Buffalo Soldiers" -- a name coined by Plains Indians to describe the black soldiers who served on the Great Plains after 1865;
  • Microfilm of The African Repository and Colonial Journal, published by the American Colonization Society from 1825 to the 1890s, describes the society's campaign to recruit free black Americans for resettlement in Liberia. Twenty-two maps show early settlements there, and the family papers of Joseph Jenkins Roberts document aspects of the development of Liberia;
  • Henry Ossian Flipper's "The Colored Cadet at West Point" (1879) in which he describes the prejudice he faced in the military;
  • 9th U.S. Cavalry Watering Horses and other silent films show black soldiers in the Spanish-American War;
  • Material on the Negro baseball leagues in the papers of Arthur William Mann, sportswriter and author of "The Jackie Robinson Story" (published in 1950), the papers of Brooklyn Dodgers' coach, Branch Rickey and in the records of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP);
  • The U.S. News and World Report collection which contains numerous photographs documenting nationally significant events since 1955;
  • The Valburn Collection's 11,000 recordings of jazz giant Duke Ellington on disc. Film, videos, clippings, photos, concert programs, and magazines also document his career.

Contents of The African American Mosaic include:

Part 1: African-Americans in the Antebellum Period

Chapter 1: Slavery--The Peculiar Institution
Chapter 2: Free Blacks in the Antebellum Period
Chapter 3: Abolitionists and Antislavery Movements and the Rise of the Sectional Controversy

Part 2: Forever Free--Emancipation and Beyond

Chapter 4: The Civil War
Chapter 5: Reconstruction and Its Aftermath
Chapter 6: The Booker T. Washington Era

Part 3: And the Pursuit of Happiness

Chapter 7: World War I and Postwar Society
Chapter 8: The Depression, the New Deal, and World War II
Chapter 9: The Civil Rights Era

Description: 8 x 10 inches 300 + xviii pages, 42 color illustrations, 84 black-and-white illustrations, ISBN 0-8444-0800 x (alk. paper) 93-21605, Book design by Adrianne Onderdonk Dudden

To receive The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture, stock number: S/N 030-000-00254-7 (note: stock number must be included with the order) please send $24.00 to:

Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954


Library of Congress
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Washington, DC 20540-5240
(202) 707-0204

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PR 94-002
ISSN 0731-3527

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