The African American Museum and Library at Oakland is dedicated to the discovery, preservation, interpretation and sharing of historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West for present and future generations. AAMLO’s archival collection is a unique resource on the history of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area. The archives includes over 160 collections documenting prominent families, pioneers, churches, social and political organizations. Finding aids are available in the Online Archive of California and digitized items in Calisphere. Freedom’s Journal, the Liberator, California Voice, Sun Reporter, Muhammed Speakers, and the Black Panther newspapers are available on microfilm.
Using AAMLO’s oral history collection, researchers can listen to interviews with local civil rights activists, educators, writers, and musicians. AAMLO is home to the Eternal Voices video library containing more than 80 years of African American East Bay history and Susheel Bibb’s Meet Mary Pleasant DVD (scholarly interviews, key issues and documents).
The microfilm collection includes primary research information on African American enslavement, military service, California census records 1910-1930, Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association, W.E.B. Dubois, Benjamin Banneker, Mary Church Terrell, Paul Robeson and others. The archives department is open from 12-4. To make an appointment call (510) 637-0198.
The reference library supports the archives and museum with a special, non-circulating collection of materials designated for library use only.