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History and Delawareana in Special Collections: African American

About the collection

Special Collections holds a variety of print and archival materials pertaining to African American history, such as rare historical documents including slave bills of sale, plantation inventory lists, manumission papers, wills, and copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and The Thirteenth Amendment. Researchers will also find materials pertaining to contemporary issues such as civil rights, black nationalism, integration, and racial justice.

Digital Collections

Iron Hill Museum oral history recordings and transcripts

The Iron Hill Museum oral history collection consists of 37 interviews (recorded on 58 audio-cassettes) documenting the history of the Iron Hill School #112C, which was one of the African American schools built in Delaware with funds provided by Pierre S. du Pont.

Suggested searches

To locate materials in the print collection including books, periodicals, and some printed ephemera, search DELCAT by location in the  Advanced Search option and limit your search to “Special Collections.”

Sample Basic Search/Keyword Anywhere:

  • "African Americans and Delaware"
  • "African Americans and education"
  • "African Americans and newspapers"
  • "Negroes"
  • "Moors"


Other relevant subject searches using Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):

  • "Abolitionists"
  • "African American soldiers"
  • "African American women—Biography"
  • "African Americans—Biography"
  • "African Americans—Civil rights"
  • "African Americans—Social conditions"
  • "Antislavery movements"
  • "Black Panther Party"
  • "Black power"
  • "Freedmen"
  • "Racially mixed people"
  • "Reconstruction"
  • "Segregation in education"
  • "Slave insurrections"
  • "Slave trade"
  • "Slaveholders"
  • "Slavery in the United States"
  • "Slavery in the United States—Condition of slaves"
  • "Slaves—Emancipation—United States"
  • "Slaves—United States—Biography"
  • "Underground railroad"
  • "United States. Colored troops"

Select bibliographies

Listed here are bibliographies of resources in Special Collections pertaining to African American history. Please note that the items listed in the bibliographies represent only a small portion of materials on African American history held in Special Collections.

Ask a Special Collections Librarian

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We are happy to help assist you with your research.


Special Collections is open Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Before visiting, please read the policies & procedures page and the visitor information page.

Also, for more information please see Frequently Asked Questions.