Black Authors, 1556-1922
Imprints from the Library Company of Philadelphia
- More than 550 works by authors of African or African-American descent
- A fascinating look at the creative efforts of black authors over three centuries
- Expertly compiled by the curators of the extraordinary Afro-Americana Imprintscollection
Created from the renowned holdings of the Library Company of Philadelphia, Black Authors, 1556-1922, is the most complete and compelling collection of its kind. It offers more than 550 fully catalogued and searchable works by black authors from the Americas, Europe and Africa, expertly compiled by the curators of Afro-Americana Imprints collection, the largest existing collection of its kind. Found within are wide-ranging genres, including personal narratives, autobiographies, histories, expedition reports, military reports, novels, essays, poems and musical compositions.
New research and teaching opportunities
Major subject areas addressed in Black Authors include Literature, Ethnic History, Colonialism, Gender Studies, Slavery, Diaspora Studies and related fields. As a whole, this collection reveals how the creative efforts of black authors evolved over three centuries. The earliest published works of authors of African descent are largely travel narratives and historical works treating the exploration of the African continent and the collision between European powers with the peoples of Africa.
This is followed by a proliferation of personal narratives, first in Europe and at then in America and the Caribbean, as well as by the beginning of anti-slavery letters, speeches and literary works. Following the American Civil War, black authors branched into almost all fields, resulting in a diverse collection containing works of history, science, philosophy, literature, music and drama.
Authors included are Leo Africanus, Ignatius Sancho, Benjamin Banneker, Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, David Ruggles, William Wells Brown, Solomon Northrup, Harriet Wilson, Harriet Jacobs, Alexander Crummell, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Josiah Henson, Frederick Douglass, Bethany Veney, Paul Laurence Dunbar, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charles W. Chestnutt, Booker T. Washington, James Weldon Johnson and hundreds of others.
About the Library Company of Philadelphia
The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library specializing in American history and culture from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company is America's oldest cultural institution. The Library Company houses an extensive collection of rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs and works of art, as well as the second largest holding of early American imprints.
An Archive of Americana Collection
Black Authors, 1556-1922, is fully integrated into America’s Historical Imprints for seamless searching with African History and Culture, 1540-1921; Caribbean History and Culture, 1535-1920; Early American Imprints, 1639-1819; and other related collections.