Women's Studies Section

Association of College & Research Libraries / American Library Association
African American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920
Primary Source Types for Women's Studies  TEXT
Oral Histories
Periodicals - Newspapers
Periodicals - Journals
Record Books
Subjects for Women's Studies African American Women
Economic Status
Labor / Employment
Law / Legal Status / Public Policy
Personal Narratives
Politics and Government
Social History
Women's Clubs
Women's Suffrage
World War, 1914-1918
Coverage Dates


Archive is Ongoing / Completed Completed
Publisher Ohio Historical Society
URL http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/
Date Searched January 2007


This digital collection documents the history of African-American Ohio. A variety of sources including manuscripts, serials, images and pamphlets provide an overview of the Black experience in Ohio between 1850 and 1920 in the words of the people that lived them. While the documents originate from Ohio, the archive is a very valuable resource for the study of black American history in general.

There are twelve manuscript collections from the Ohio Historical Society that are included in the collection. Articles from eleven African American newspapers (from 1844 to 1923) of Ohio’s major cities are indexed. There are twenty-two photograph/print collections included, twenty-four pamphlets, and two serials.

Women's Studies Content

Of the above mentioned collections, three resources focus specifically on women:

(1) The Hallie Q. Brown/Frances Hughes Collection, consists of photographs from the Hallie Q. Brown Collection at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio. Hallie Q. Brown (1845? - 1949) was a teacher, elocutionst, civil and women's rights advocate, and Wilberforce University graduate, instructor, and trustee.

The serials collection includes (2)The African American Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church Review, which contains the column “Women’s Department” and (3)The African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. Ohio Conference Branch. Woman’s Mite Missionary Society. Minutes/Proceedings of the Annual Conventions. Minutes from the 1903, 1916, 1917, and 1920 conventions are included.

Additionally, there are numerous resources for women's studies throughout the collection. A search for the subject heading "African American women" and the medium "Newspaper" retrieves articles on a wide range of subjects - economic status, employment, politics and government, health, suffrage, and women's clubs. The manuscript collection contains narratives of female former slaves. Photographs include women in both individual and group portraits.


Search by subject heading, document type, keyword, or any combination. Although the search engine is highly effective at retrieving documents with one’s keywords, it doesn’t display or indicate which page the keywords appear; one has to page through the entire document.

One can also browse by document type, which allows one to see a list and description of the manuscript collections, newspapers, and pamphlets indexed. The collection is well organized and easy to navigate, and I would suspect self-explanatory for even novice researchers.

Recommended improvements would include the ability to go back to one’s search result without having to use the back button, especially once one has begun paging through a document. Also, it would be nice if the page where one’s keyword appears could display first. What’s very strange is that there is no print command, except for on one’s browser.

Truncation yes (*)
Boolean yes (AND, NOT, OR)
Phrase Searching yes
Help Screens/Quality yes / basic narrative information, which is adequate
Controlled Vocabulary yes
Keywords in Context no

Archive Review:
Sherri Barnes
University of California, Santa Barbara

Last updated: January 8, 2007

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