The Carnegie-endowed “Western Colored Branch Library,” which opened in 1908, was the first library in the nation to extend privileges to the African American community. Many books by African American writers were included in Western’s collection and served as the beginning of the present African American Archives. The Archives contain print and non-print resources, a clippings file, photographs, manuscripts, pamphlets, periodicals, and microforms selected to provide information on culture and life in black America.
Here’s a sampling of the unique items in our Archives:
- Writings and lectures of Thomas
F. Blue, First African American to head a public library, was a respected leader in the civic,
religious, and educational life of the Louisville black community
Note: Digitization efforts are ongoing and new content may be added to the collection.
- Manuscripts of Joseph Cotter Sr., Poet, songwriter, educator
- Vertical file with clippings from African American newspapers and periodicals