African American Newspapers: The 19th Century (Accessible Archives)
Black Abolitionist Papers: 1830-1865 (ProQuest)
Includes the complete text of major 19th century African American newspapers such as The Christian Recorder
(1861-1902), Freedom's Journal
(1827-1829), The North Star
(1847-1851), and Frederick Douglass' Paper
This collection searches a unique set of primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865. Approximately 15,000 articles, documents, correspondence, proceedings, manuscripts, and literary works of almost 300 Black abolitionists show the full range of their activities in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Germany.
America’s Historical Newspapers: 1690-1922 (Readex)
A digital collection of early American newspapers from 1690 to 1922. The collection includes the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1860-1920.
Historical New York Times: 1851-2013 (ProQuest)
Search results can be limited by date, state, city, and newspaper titles.
Black Abolitionist Papers (Trial ends October 14, 2011)
American Founding Era (Rotunda)
The complete archive of the New York Times
from 1851 to the present with the exception of the most current two years. Includes classified ads, comics and cartoons, photos, maps, graphics, etc., editorials and commentary.
Helpful limit options: date, author, document type.
Pennsylvania Abolition Society Papers
200 years of American history as recorded in magazines, journals and newspapers starting in 1741. Includes numerous abolitionist magazines such as the Liberator
and the Abolitionist
Click on Publications
and look up anti-slavery periodicals by subject. Journal subjects
include abolitionist, freedmen, fugitive slaves, slavery
Use the author search
to locate articles written by abolitionists.
U.S. Congressional Serial Set: 1817 – 1994 (Readex)
Online collection of primary sources digitized by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Reports, documents and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from the 15th Congress through the 103rd Congress.
Early American Imprints, Series II: Shaw-Shoemaker, 1801-1819 (Readex)
Search the full text or browse documents on subjects such as Emancipation of Slaves, Antislavery Movements, Abolitionists, Slavery or Underground Railroad.
Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 (Gale)
Covering every aspect of American life during the early decades of the United States, Early American Imprints, Series II (1801-1819) provides full-text access to the 36,000 American books, pamphlets and broadsides published in the first nineteen years of the nineteenth century.
Making of the Modern World
Books, pamphlets, serials and other documents published from 1500 to the early 1900's that provide original accounts of exploration, trade, colonialism, slavery and abolition, the western movement, Native Americans, military actions and much more.
A digital collection of books and documents on commerce, finance, social conditions, politics, trade and transport published from 1450 through 1850.
Autobiographies, diaries, letters & other primary sources from the library's print collection
Search the library's catalog for primary sources. Here are some examples:
Author search - Frederick Douglass ; Alexander Crummell ; Henry Box Brown
African American Studies Center Online (Oxford)
Subject search - abolitionists and speeches
Find primary sources under the Browse
tab. The collection also includes maps, images, charts and tables.
American National Biography Online (Oxford)
African American Studies Center Online (Oxford)
Biographical resource on more than 18,000 people from all eras who have influenced and shaped American history and culture.
Click on the Search
tab and scroll down to Occupations & Realms of Renown
. Type Abolitionists
into the text field. ANBO includes 157 short biographies of abolitionists. The bibliographies list available primary sources and recommended secondary sources.
Biography and Genealogy Master Index (Gale)
Includes more than 7,000 biographies from the African American National Biography
Search for Abolitionists
and then narrow the search results to Biographies
. The AASC
features biographies of close to 800 abolitionists.
Biographical Information in the Library's Print Collection
Search by subject or keyword.
Use personal names such as William Still or search for "African American abolitionists."
WorldCat is a catalog of library collections worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form.WorldCat Step-by-Step
is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to this resource.
Biographical Information from Obituaries
Search the libraries digital newspapers for obituaries of African American abolitionists.
Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856
Philadelphia Social History Project.
Initially taken in 1838 to demonstrate the stability and significance of the African American community and to forestall the abrogation of African American voting rights, the Quaker and Abolitionist census of African Americans was continued in 1847 and 1856 and presents an invaluable view of the mid-nineteenth century African American population of Philadelphia.
Critical Studies/Secondary Literature
Falvey Library Catalog
Books and book chapters in the Library's print collection are an important source of critical literature. Take advantage of the different search options available in the library's catalog. Start with a keyword search
and use the hyper-linked subject
s to further narrow your search results. Facets can also be used to limit search results. Topic, region
, and language
are some of the available facets.
Subject search: African American abolitionists
Subject search: Abolitionists and "Civil Rights"
America: History and Life (EBSCO)
Find books that are not owned by the library and request them via interlibrary loan. Titles owned by Falvey Memorial Library
are tagged, those not held by Falvey
can be requested through interlibrary loan with the "Borrow from another library"
link. WorldCat uses the same Library of Congress subject headings
as the Library's catalog. Use the Export
feature to download selected references into RefWorks.
Dissertations and Theses Global (ProQuest)
A complete bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present.
Subjects include "African American abolitionists," "African Americans - Colonization," "Antislavery movements," and "Blacks."
Start with a simple keyword search for "Black Abolitionists."
Most of the recent dissertations are available full text online. Scan the bibliographies for additional primary and secondary sources.
Citing Your Sources
Chicago Manual of Style Online Refworks Tutorial
Never type a bibliography again! RefWorks will help you easily gather, manage, and store bibliographic citations for all types of information, as well as generate footnotes and bibliographies.
A comprehensive tutorial on how to use Refworks, a web-based tool to help manage your citations. The tutorial is broken into short sections by topic.
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