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The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
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Local & Digital Selections


Daniel M. Johnson Collection contains more than 5,600 books. Most are first print editions signed by the author and include accompanying materials such as news clippings, program flyers, written correspondence and photographs. Of special note is the extensive collection of books on the history of ancient Egypt, Nubia and West African kingdoms. African-American literature of the “New Negro” era is another strong component of this book collection.

Dorothy Porter Wesley Collection provides scholars with more than 2,000 books to conduct research on African-Brazilian history and culture, the history of early African-American families, women and gender studies and historically black social organizations and publishers. More...

Jack Abramowitz Collection concentrates on the history of African-Americans in the southern United States primarily during the slavery and reconstruction eras.

Frederic Gomes Cassidy Collection focuses on the history and culture of the Caribbean islands with a strong emphasis on Jamaica.

Charles Mills Collection provides an outstanding collection of books relating to the art and music of the Harlem Renaissance cultural movement during the 1920s and 1930s. Accompanying this collection are jazz music recordings on CDs, audiocassettes and record albums.

Black Heritage Library Collection contains more than 300 volumes selected from the collection of slave narratives, biographies, literature and historical texts originally collected as part of the Negro Collection at Fisk University Library.

Ephemera and Manuscripts

The ephemera and manuscripts consist of well over one million items. Included are calendars, broadsides, posters, postcards, game kits, obituaries, vertical files, sheet music and collectable stamps. While English is the predominant language, there are works in French, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Portuguese. The manuscripts focus on the papers and records of individuals and some national or international organizations.

Alex Haley Collection includes eight unfinished manuscripts, multiple letters and postcards from prominent individuals and fans, photographs of cast members from the film Roots and several photographs of the Juffure in the Gambia, West Africa, where Haley’s ancestor Kunta Kinte was born. More...

Niara Sudarkasa Papers contains nearly 200 archival boxes of documents, correspondence, news clippings and other printed materials relating to Sudarkasa’s research as an Anthropologist, her career as a Professor and Associate Vice President at the University of Michigan, and her tenure as the President of Lincoln University. These papers also provide research on Yoruba language and culture, minorities in higher education and the Black Power Movement in the U.S.

Sixto Campano Sheet Music Collection contains approximately 1,000 pieces of well-preserved sheet music. Song themes cover early 19th century plantation life in the American South, early 20th century popular music and the stereotypical themes associated with black face minstrelsy.

Maurice Dawkins Papers serve as the largest named collection in the archives with more than 250 archival boxes of documents, correspondence, news clippings and other printed materials detailing Dawkins’ career as a member of the Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) and NAACP, his tenure as a prominent reverend in California and his political campaign as a black Republican candidate in Virginia.

Esther Rolle Collection focuses on the life of this Pompano Beach, Florida native. Included are artifacts, news clippings, books, photographs and a record album by Rolle titled In the Garden of My Mind. More...

Margaret and Cato Roach Collection consists of personal papers, awards, pamphlets and news clippings documenting these Fort Lauderdale pioneers and mentors in the field of education and civil rights during the 1960s and 1970s.

Ethel Mizell Pappy Collection contains clippings, photographs, correspondence, awards and other miscellaneous papers. The majority of the collection focuses on Dr. Von D. Mizell. Of special note are business documents and photographs relating to Provident Hospital, letters written by Dr. Charles R. Drew to Dr. Mizell and other documents relating to Dr. Mizell’s lawsuit against North Broward Hospital District in 1970.

Oral Histories

Kitty Oliver Oral Histories contain more than 100 interviews of individuals discussing race and ethnic relations in Broward and Palm Beach counties during the 1960s and 1970s, the New River community, the historical community of Liberia and women in Ghana. Printed transcripts, photographs and videos of narrators are also included. More...

Trailblazers of Broward County, Inc. contains oral histories that document the stories and lives of Black pioneers in Broward County. These stories are stored on digital format.

Photographs and Prints

African Missions Postcards Collection contains 600 postcards depicting images of missionary works and native social life and customs in Sub-Saharan Africa spanning from the late 1800s to the early 1950s.

Reverend Clinton Mack Photographs Collection contains more than 300 images of African-Americans living in Pompano Beach, Florida circa 1930s and 1940s.

Slides of the Sistrunk Corridor provides more than 1,000 images depicting various cultural celebrations including the Sistrunk festivals and programs held at the Mizell Library.

Audio-Visual Materials

The audio and visual materials are comprised of more than 5,500 videocassettes, audiocassettes, DVDs, CDs and record albums. Rare recordings of cultural programs conducted at the Collier City Library and the Mizell Library are included.

Anthony Rotante Collection contains more than 300 jazz and rhythm & blues recordings; a significant portion of recordings are by Duke Ellington.

Library of the Spoken Word provides 300 recordings of lectures, oral histories, stories and documentaries of Caribbean culture and history produced by the University of the West Indies.

Eric Rawlins Record Albums contain nearly 6,000 albums covering jazz, rhythm & blues, hip hop, Latino and gospel music genres. Formats include 33 rpm and 45 rpm phonographs.

Periodicals, Newspapers and Microfilm

This collection contains African, AfricanAmerican, Caribbean and South American publications. Included are several short-run Black newspapers and newsletters dating back to the early 1800s.

Rare titles include Ikenga, Tarikh, Africa News, Bilalian News, The Colored American Magazine, The Anti-Slavery Advocate​, Negro History Bulletin, Negro Digest and Freedomways.

Contemporary publication titles include the Journal of African-American History, African Arts, Research in African Literature, Caribbean Quarterly, Callaloo, Africa Confidential, Jeune Afrique L’intelligent, African Affairs, and the Journal of Negro History.

Microfilm and microfiche titles include the Black Abolitionist Papers, Papers of Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, 1915-1950, Universal Negro Improvement Association Records, 1921-1986, and The Crisis.

Artwork and Artifacts

The artwork and artifacts collection consists largely of African masks and sculptures, Haitian and Jamaican paintings, and an assortment of art pieces and graphic prints from African-American artists. The collection also contains a significant poster collection, historical prints, illustrations, cloth art, ivory, bronze and wooden carved objects, and African and Afro-Cuban musical instruments.

This awe-inspiring collection of artwork and artifacts was created from donations by African art collectors Arthur B. Steinman and Mary Sue and Dr. Paul Peter Rosen, award-winning African-American artists Charles Mills and Jonathan Green, illustrators Ashley Bryan, Kadir Nelson and Jerry Pinkney, Jamaican artist Errol “Elgo” Lewis, Haitian and African art collectors John H. and Vivian D. Hewitt​, aviator Barrington Irving, and prominent individuals such as Samuel F. Morrison, Dorris Avner and Dr. Nina Woods-Charles.

 ​​​​​​​About the AARLCC Special Collections
The mission of the Special Collections is to collect, preserve and provide access to research materials focusing on the history and culture of people of African, African-American and Caribbean descent. Learn more...​​​​