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Colored Conventions

Bringing Nineteenth-Century Black Organizing to Digital Life

Black Biographical Dictionaries, 1790-1950

General Biography Databases

American National Biography
A source of historical American biography.

Biography in Context
Biography in Context is a comprehensive database of biographical information.

Biography Reference Bank
Full-text biographical profiles of people from antiquity to the present.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index
This is an online index to sources that contain multiple biographies. Use the database to identify a publication that includes the biographical information needed, and then check your library catalog for the call number.

Specialized Biography Databases

African American Biographical Database
The African American Biographical Database (AABD) brings together the biographies of thousands of African Americans. Covers 1790 to 1950.

Black Abolitionist Papers
Primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States. The approximately 15,000 articles, documents, correspondence, proceedings, manuscripts, and literary works of almost 300 Black abolitionists. Covers 1830-1865.

Black Thought and Culture: African Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
"When complete, Black Thought and Culture will provide approximately 100,000 pages of monographs, essays, articles, speeches, and interviews written by leaders within the black community from the earliest times to the present."

Find Biographical Information in Digitized Book Collections

Find information about African Americans by searching the full text of millions of books in Google Books and the HathiTrust Digital Library. Note the name of the library that provided the book as well as the book's title, author(s), publisher name and location, date, and the page(s) where the information can be found.

If there are no options for printing or downloading, try to take a screenshot of the page that you need and/or check DELCAT Discovery to see if the UD Library holds the book. Books not held by the Library may be borrowed from other libraries through interlibrary loan.

In some cases, you will find your search terms highlighted in the text but won't be able to view the book. If there are copyright restrictions, the entire book will not be displayed.