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The Africana Heritage Full-text Reading Room: Hours of Recommended Full-Text Reading

Since the invention of the eBook in 1971, Project Gutenberg, Google Books, and others have been digitizing texts for online reading. Thanks to their efforts, there are now more than two million free, full-text books and historical documents on the Internet.

Here we search through millions of selections to find resources relevant to African and African American heritage research. Grab a snack, settle in and explore hours of full-text online reading! [AOL users: please select full screen for best viewing]

African American History:

Black Americans in Congress, 1870-1989 by Bruce A. Ragsdale Joel D. Treese, Bruce A. Ragsdale, Joel D. Treese
Published by DIANE Publishing, 1996; Digitized by Google Books

The Black Phalanx: A History of the Negro Soldiers of the United States in the Wars of 1775-1812, 1861-'65 by Joseph Thomas Wilson. Published by American Publishing Company, 1890; digitized by Google Books

The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution by William Cooper Nell, Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published by R.F. Wallcut, 1855; Digitized by Google Books

The Negro in the American Rebellion: His Heroism and His Fidelity by William Wells Brown. Published by Lee & Shepard, 1867; Digitized by Google Books

History of Negro Soldiers in the Spanish-American War: And Other Items of Interest by Edward Austin Johnson. Published by Capital Printing Co., 1899; Digitized by Google Books

Black Americans in Defense of Our Nation by the U.S. Department of Defense; Published by DIANE Publishing Company, 1990


The Black Bishop: Samuel Adjai Crowther by Jesse Page. Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1908; Original from the New York Public Library; Digitized by Google Books July 28, 2006

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave, Written by Himself by Frederick Douglass. Published by the Anti-Slavery Office, Boston, 1845; Digitized by Project Gutenberg

Up from Slavery: An Autobiography by Booker T. Washington. Published by Doubleday, Page & Co., 1902; Digitized by Google Books


Collected Articles of Frederick Douglass, a Slave by Frederick Douglass. Digitized by Project Gutenberg January 1994

The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois. Published by A. Constable, 1904; Original from Harvard University; Digitized by Google Books Dec 29, 2006

Atlantic Slave Trade:

Captain Canot: or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver; Being an Account of His Career and Adventures on the Coast, in the Interior, on Shipboard, and in the West Indies by Theodore Canot, Brantz Mayer. Published by D. Appleton and company, 1854; Original from Harvard University; Digitized by Google Books Aug 4, 2006

The American Slave-trade: An Account of Its Origin, Growth and Suppression by John Randolph Spears. Published by C. Scribner's Sons, 1900; Original from the New York Public Library; Digitized by Google Books Sep 21, 2006

The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by Thomas Clarkson. Digitized by the Gutenberg Project May 25, 2004

Slavery and Resistance:

American Negro Slavery A Survey of the Supply, Employment and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime by Ulrich Bonnell Phillips. Digitized by the Gutenberg Project March 7, 2004

Family Life in the Slave Quarters: Survival Strategies by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. OAH Magazine of History 15:4, Summer 2001; Digitized by the Organization of American Historians

An Account of Some of the Principal Slave Insurrections: And Others, which Have Occurred, Or Been Attempted, in the United States and Elsewhere, During the Last Two Centuries, With Various Remarks by Joshua Coffin. Published by The American Antislavery Society, 1860; Original from Harvard University; Digitized by Google Books Aug 3, 2006

Black Rebellion: Five Slave Revolts by Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Digitized by Project Gutenberg July 2005

The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom by Wilbur Henry Siebert, Albert Bushnell Hart. Published by Macmillan, 1898; Original from the University of Michigan; Digitized by Google Books June 25, 2007

Civil War:

Army Life in a Black Regiment by Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Published by Riverside Press, 1900; Digitized by Eric Elred and Scribd

Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S. C. Volunteers by Susie King Taylor. Published by the Author, 1902; Digitized by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999

The Photographic History of the Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume One: The Opening Battles by Francis Trevelyan Miller, Robert Sampson Lanier. Published by Review of Reviews Co., 1911; Digitized by Google Books; Vol. Five; Vol. Six; Vol. Seven; Vol. Eight; Vol. Nine; Vol. Ten

Letters from Port Royal Written at the Time of the Civil War, (1862-1868) by Elizabeth Ware Pearson. Published by W.B. Clarke Company, 1906; Original from Harvard University; Digitized by Google Books Aug 9, 2006


Why the Solid South?: Or, Reconstruction and Its Results by Hilary Abner Herbert. Published by R.H. Woodward, 1890; Original from the University of Michigan; Digitized by Google Books Nov 1, 2006

Documentary History of Reconstruction: Political, Military, Social, Religious, Educational & Industrial, 1865 to the Present Time by Walter Lynwood Fleming. Published by A.H. Clark, 1907; Digitized by Google Books

Report on the Condition of the South by Carl Shurz, Published 39th Congress Senate, 1865; Digitized by Project Gutenberg [Report on conditions among Freedmen in SC, GA, AL, MS and LA]

The Reconstruction Period by Peter Joseph Hamilton. Published by Printed for subscribers only by G. Barrie & sons, 1905; Digitized by Google Books

The Freedmen's Bureau: A Chapter in the History of Reconstruction by Paul Skeels Peirce, Published by The University, 1901; Original from Harvard University; Digitized by Google Books Aug 18, 2006

African American Folklore and Music:

Uncle Remus and His Legends of the Old Plantation by Joel Chandler Harris, Frederick Stuart Church, James Henry Moser Published by David Bogue. Published 1881; Original from Oxford University; Digitized by Google Books July 26, 2006

Slave Songs of the United States by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, Lucy McKim Garrison. Compiled by William Francis Allen; Published by A. Simpson & Co., 1867; Original from the University of Michigan; Digitized by Google Books Mar 9, 2007

Afro-American Folksongs: A Study in Racial and National Music by Henry Edward Krehbiel. Published by G. Schirmer, 1914; Digitized by Google Books

African Genealogy:

Emigrants to Liberia by the Barque Chieftan from Savannah, GA, February 14, 1850 for Sinou, Liberia on Lowcountry Africana

African History:

West Africa by Charles Prestwood Lucas, Hugh Edward Egerton. Published by Clarendon Press, 1900; Original from the University of California; Digitized by Google Books Dec 3, 2007

Journal of an African Cruiser, Comprising Sketches of the Canaries, the Cape de Verds, Liberia, Madeira, Sierra Leone, and Other Places of Interest on the West Coast of Africa by Horatio Bridge, Nathaniel Hawthorn. Published by G.P. Putnam & Co., 1853; Original from the University of California; Digitized by Google Books Nov 19, 2007

Some Historical Account of Guinea, Its Situation, Produce, and the General Disposition of Its Inhabitants by Anthony Benezet. Published by Printed and sold by J. Phillips, 1788; Original from the New York Public Library; Digitized by Google Books Sep 21, 2006

The Republic of Liberia, Being a General Description of the Negro Republic by Reginald Charles Fulke Maugham. Published by C. Scribner's sons, 1920; Original from the University of California; Digitized by Google Books Oct 11, 2007

African Culture:

Wisdom for the Soul of Black Folk by Gnosophia Publishers, Larry Chang, Roderick Terry Contributor Larry Chang, Roderick Terry. Published by Gnosophia Publishers, 2007; Digitized by Google Books

Wit and Wisdom from West Africa by Richard Francis Burton. Compiled by Richard Francis Burton; Published by Tinsley brothers, 1865; Digitized by Google Books


More Full-Text Reading:

Search for more titles of interest at Google Book Search.

Search for more full-text offerings at Project Gutenberg.

[A note about older texts: Many of the works that Google Books and Project Gutenberg digitize were written more than seventy years ago. Although they contain valuable historical information, they may also use terms or reflect values (especially towards ethnicity) which are now considered offensive and inappropriate.]

About Project Gutenberg:

Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.

There are more than 20,000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog.

A grand total of more than 100,000 titles is available at Project Gutenberg Partners, Affilites and Resources.

Read Historical Documents:

Documenting the American South(DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture.

Currently DocSouth includes ten thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.

Original Historical Documents: Did You Know?

Did you know that the complete Amistad Papers, the Papers of the American Colonization Society, the Brady Civil War Photographs and several more collections are free at The free collections at contain more than one million images of original historical documents! View All Free Collections at

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