African American Digital Bookshelf

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Welcome to the African American Digital Bookshelf!

This is a curated list of virtually accessible books that provide information on specific African American ancestors, historical context, and guidance to other resources.

The digital books are organized geographically, with books pertaining to the entire U.S. or multiple states listed under "U.S." followed by books for particular states. The digital access to these books may come from FamilySearch or elsewhere (see the "Access" column in the table). To access the FamilySearch books, users must have an account here. The books from the other websites do not require an account to read them, except for a few located at Internet Archive. You can create your free Internet Archive account here.

This table will continue to grow, so please come back often. The Family History Library also houses hundreds of books on the shelves that contain valuable information for African American genealogy and research.

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Digital Books[edit | edit source]

U.S./State Title Access
U.S. African American genealogy: a bibliography and guide to sources FamilySearch
African American slave narratives Vol I Internet Archive
African American slave narratives Vol II Internet Archive
African American slave narratives Vol III Internet Archive
African-Americans and the Gettysburg campaign Internet Archive
Afro-American encyclopaedia : or, the thoughts, doings, and sayings of the race, embracing addresses, lectures, biographical sketches, sermons, poems, names of universities, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, books, and a history of the denominations, giving FamilySearch
Before the Mayflower : a history of the Negro in America, 1619-1964 Internet Archive
Black courage 1775-1783: Documentation of Black participation in the American Revolution Internet Archive
Black genesis : a resource book for African-American genealogy Internet Archive
Black Indian genealogy research Internet Archive
Black slavery emancipation research in the Northern States FamilySearch
Compiled military service records of volunteer soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops : 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry : pamphlet describing M1817 Internet Archive
Compiled military service records of volunteer Union Soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops, 2nd through 7th Colored Infantry: including 3rd Tennessee Volunteers (African Descent), 6th Louisiana Infantry (African Descent), and 7th Louisiana Infantry (African Descent). Internet Archive
Compiled military service records of volunteer Union Soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops, infantry organizations, 14th through 19th Internet Archive
Finding a place called home : a guide to African-American genealogy and historical identity Internet Archive
Forgotten patriots : African American and American Indian patriots of the Revolutionary War : a guide to service, sources, and studies Daughters of the Revolution
Free Negro owners of slaves in the United States in 1830, together with Absentee ownership of slaves in the United States in 1830 Google Books
Generations past : a selected list of sources for Afro-American genealogical research FamilySearch
Great slave narratives Internet Archive
History of the American negro and his institutions FamilySearch
History of the American Negro in the great world war : his splendid record in the battle zones of Europe, including a resume of his past services to his country in the wars of the revolution, of 1812, the war of the rebellion, the Indian wars on the front HathiTrust
Judicial cases concerning American slavery and the Negro (Vol. 1. Cases from the courts of England, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky) FamilySearch
Judicial cases concerning American slavery and the Negro (Vol. 2. Cases from the courts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) FamilySearch
Judicial cases concerning American slavery and the Negro (Vol. 3. Cases from the courts of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana) FamilySearch
Judicial cases concerning American slavery and the Negro (Vol. 4. Cases from the Courts of New England, the Middle States, and the District of Columbia) FamilySearch
Judicial cases concerning American slavery and the Negro (Vol. 5. Cases from the Courts of States North of the Ohio and west of the Mississippi Rivers, Canada and Jamaica) FamilySearch
List of Black servicemen compiled from the War Department collection of Revolutionary War records FamilySearch
List of free black heads of families in the first census of the United States, 1790 FamilySearch
Memorials of Lieut. George H. Walcott, late of the 30th U.S. Colored Troops HathiTrust
Missing pages in American history : revealing the services of Negroes in the early wars in the United States of America, 1641-1815 Google Books
Negro population in the United States, 1790-1915 HathiTrust
Noted Negro women : their triumphs and activities FamilySearch
Patriots of color: a peculiar beauty and merit : African Americans and Native Americans at Battle Road & Bunker Hill HathiTrust
Progress of a race, or, The remarkable advancement of the American Negro : from the bondage of slavery, ignorance, and poverty to the freedom of citizenship, intelligence, affluence, honor and trust FamilySearch
Recollections of a colored troop Library of Congress
Record of the services of the seventh regiment U.S. colored troups FamilySearch
Reminiscences of my life in camp with the 33rd United States Colored Troops, late 1st S.C. Volunteers Google Books
Report to the Freedmen's Inquiry Commission, 1864 : the refugees from slavery in Canada West HathiTrust
Services of colored Americans in the wars of 1776 and 1812 FamilySearch
Slavery in the courtroom: an annotated bibliography of American cases HathiTrust
The colored patriots of the American Revolution Google Books
The colored patriots of the American Revolution, with sketches of several distinguished colored persons : to which is added a brief survey of the condition and prospects of colored Americans Google Books
The Forty-Third Regiment United States Colored Troops Gutenberg
The National cyclopedia of the colored race Google Books
The negro as a soldier in the war of the rebellion Library of Congress
The Negro soldier : a select compilation FamilySearch
The underground rail road : a record of facts, authentic narratives, letters, &c. narrating the hardships hair-breadth escapes and death struggles of the slaves in their efforts for freedom, as related by themselves and others, or witnessed by the author HathiTrust
The Underground railroad from slavery to freedom Gutenberg
Two colored women with the American Expeditionary Forces FamilySearch
Who's who in colored America : an illustrated biographical directory of nolable living persons of African descent in the United States FamilySearch
Alabama Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1879 Internet Archive
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1880 Internet Archive
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1881 Internet Archive
Slavery in Auburn, Alabama FamilySearch
The Cyclopedia of the colored Baptists of Alabama, their leaders and their work Internet Archive
The large slaveholders of the deep South, 1860 FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 6) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 18) FamilySearch
California Slavery era insurance registry California Dept of Insurance
The Negro trail blazers of California : a compilation of records from the California Archives in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, in Berkeley, and from the diaries, old papers and conversations of old pioneers in the state of Californ FamilySearch
Connecticut Chains unbound : slave emancipations in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut FamilySearch
Florida Florida plantation records from the papers of George Noble Jones FamilySearch
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1884 Internet Archive
Georgia Gwinnett County, Georgia book B marriage licenses of free persons of color, 1866-1884 FamilySearch
Names from Georgia, 1865-1866, Freedmens Bureau letters FamilySearch
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1877 Internet Archive
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1878 Internet Archive
Savannah River plantations FamilySearch
Illinois Gallatin County, Illinois slave register 1815-1839 FamilySearch
The Negro family in Chicago HathiTrust
Indiana Admission record, Indianapolis Asylum for Friendless Colored Children, 1871-1900 FamilySearch
Enumeration of white & colored males, Henry County, Indiana 1907 FamilySearch
List of aliens who applied for citizenship in Jefferson County, Indiana : list of indentures of apprentices in Jefferson County FamilySearch
Register of negro slaves and masters for 1805-1807, Knox County, Indiana Territory FamilySearch
Indiana African Americans in and around Jefferson County FamilySearch
Afro-American deaths of Boone thru [sic Boyle County, Kentucky, 1852-18 62] FamilySearch
Biographical sketches of prominent negro men and women of Kentucky : with introductory memoir of the author FamilySearch
Biographical sketches of prominent negro men and women of Kentucky : with introductory memoir of the author, and prefatory remarks showing the difference between American and British slave holders; also opinions of leading thinkers of the race HathiTrust
Civil War African American soldiers from Taylor and Green Counties, Kentucky : in the 5th United States Colored Cavalry and the 107th and 108th Colored Infantry FamilySearch
Colored marriage bonds, Logan County, KY to 1900 FamilySearch
Golden jubilee of the general association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky : the story of 50 years' work from 1865-1915 including many photos and sketches, compiled from unpublished manuscripts and other sources FamilySearch
Mt. Moriah Cemetery : a history and census of Bowling Green, Kentucky's African-American cemetery FamilySearch
Narrative of the life and adventures of Henry Bibb, an American slave Internet Archive
Weeden's History of the colored people of Louisville FamilySearch
Louisiana History of Louisiana Negro Baptists and early American beginnings from 1804 to 1914 University of North Carolina
Louisiana's households of free people of color : residing outside of Orleans Parish & the city of New Orleans in 1810 & 1820 FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 1) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 2) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 3) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 5) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 8) FamilySearch
Maryland A Listing of Slaves and Indentured servants in Somerset County, 1668-1720 Internet Archive
A narrative of the life of Rev. Noah Davis: a Colored man Internet Archive
Manumissions and Sales of Slaves recorded in land records of Somerset and Worcester Counties, Maryland, 1859-1866 Internet Archive
Maryland slave owners and superintendents FamilySearch
Slave statistics of Saint Mary's County, Maryland, 1864 Archives of Maryland
The first colored professional, clerical, skilled and business directory of Baltimore City HathiTrust
The Hawk yearbook (1949) Internet Archive
The Hawk yearbook (1950) Internet Archive
The Hawk yearbook (1952) Internet Archive
The Hawk yearbook (1953) Internet Archive
1954 The Hawk yearbook (1954) Internet Archive
The Hawk yearbook (1956) Internet Archive
The life of John Thompson, a fugitive slave : containing his history of 25 years in bondage, and his providential escape Google Books
The price of freedom : slavery and manumission in Baltimore and early national Maryland Google Books
Massachusetts The narrative of Bethany Veney, a slave woman Internet Archive
The trial and execution, for petit treason, of Mark and Phillis : slaves of Capt. John Codman, who murdered their master at Charlestown, Mass., in 1755 ; for which the man was hanged and gibbeted, and the woman was burned to death ; including, also, some FamilySearch
Michigan Michigan manual of freedmen's progress Western Michigan University
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1882 Internet Archive
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1883 Internet Archive
The History of Negro Baptists in Mississippi Internet Archive
Missouri Index, nineteenth century black and associated white persons (a) named in primary records at Clay County Archives & Historical Library, Liberty, Missouri; (b) extracted from U.S. colored volunteer enlistments (Civil War) on file at the National Archives a FamilySearch
New Jersey Cases adjudged in the Supreme Court of New Jersey relative to the manumission of Negroes and others holden in bondage HathiTrust
Manumission book of Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1791-1844 Monmouth County
New York Quaker marriages, births, deaths, slaves, Nine Partners M.M., Dutchess CO, NY Internet Archive
North Carolina A history of the Negro Baptists of North Carolina Internet Archive
Caswell County, North Carolina : land grants, tax lists, state census, apprentice bonds, estate records FamilySearch
Census of slaves, 1755 FamilySearch
Colored Charlotte : published in connection with the fiftieth anniversary of the freedom of the Negro in the county of Mecklenburg and the city of Charlotte, North Carolina HathiTrust
Enslaved ancestors abstracted from deed books, Granville county, North Carolina Afrigeneas
Mountain masters, slavery, and the sectional crisis in western North Carolina Google Books
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1873 Internet Archive
Somerset homecoming: recovering a lost heritage FamilySearch
The cradle of freedom : a history of the Negro in Rochester, western New York and Canada FamilySearch
Underground railroad in Tompkins County, (N.Y.) FamilySearch
Oklahoma Oklahoma Creek freedman : my roots, 1858-1921 FamilySearch
The Choctaw freedmen : and the story of Oak Hill Industrial Acadamy, Valliant, McCurtain County , Oklahoma, now called the Alice Lee Elliott Memorial FamilySearch
The final rolls of citizens and freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory National Archives
Pennsylvania A comparison of negro and white labor in a charcoal iron community FamilySearch
A picture of slavery, drawn from the decision of southern courts Internet Archive
Pennsylvania Negro Business directory, 1910 HathiTrust
Rhode Island An Historical inquiry concerning the attempt to raise a regiment of slaves by Rhode Island, during the war of the revolution FamilySearch
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1874 Internet Archive
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1875 Internet Archive
Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, made to the two Houses of Congress February 19, 1876 Internet Archive
Tennessee History of Louisiana Negro Baptists: from 1804 to 1914 Internet Archive
The Negro in Tennessee, 1790-1865 FamilySearch
Texas Beaumont colored schools, 1880-1926 FamilySearch
History of Negroes of Limestone County FamilySearch
Names and dates from grave markers in Evergreen Negro Cemetery, Houston, Texas : Eagle Scout Project FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 4) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 7) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 9) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 10) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 11) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 12) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 13) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 14) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 15) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 16) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 17) FamilySearch
No land -- only slaves (Vol. 19) FamilySearch
Utah The story of the Negro pioneer FamilySearch
Vermont Vermont's anti-slavery and underground railroad record, with a map and illustrations HathiTrust
Virginia Free people of colour : free Negroes, Indians, Portuguese and freed slaves FamilySearch
History of the colored volunteer infantry of Virginia 1871-99 FamilySearch
Negro office holders in Virginia, 1865-1895 HathiTrust
Princess Anne County guardian accounts: an index to enslaved and free African-Virginians in Princess Anne County (Vol. 1-5) Internet Archive
Princess Anne County guardian accounts: an index to enslaved and free African-Virginians in Princess Anne County (Vol. 6-18) Internet Archive
Registrations of free negroes commencing September court 1822, book no. 2 & register of free blacks 1835, book 3 : being the full text of the two extant volumes, 1822-1861, of registrations of free blacks now in the county courthouse, Fairfax, Virginia FamilySearch
Virginia Something to build on : genealogy of African American families of Henry County, Virginia and surrounding area with surnames A-Z FamilySearch
Wisconsin Negro slavery in Wisconsin HathiTrust
Wyoming Pack slaves of upper New River, West Virginia, and their families FamilySearch