The African American Research Library’s Special Collections houses over one million items, including rare books, artifacts, artwork, manuscripts, and reference materials focusing on the history and culture of people of African, African-American and Caribbean descent.
Alex Haley Collection – Contains the works of Alex Haley, photos from the Roots television show, photos of West Africa, and eight unfinished manuscripts by Haley. Portions of this collection are available on the Broward County Library website in its Digital Archives.
Daniel Johnson Collection – Contains over 5,000 items pertaining to “African-American, Caribbean, Oceania and African Books and Ephemera.” These include writings in a variety of topics such as, slavery, civil rights, sports, politics, and the arts.
Dorothy Porter Wesley Collection – Contains items pertaining to art, history, women’s studies and other materials related to Africans in the United States.
Sixto Compano Collection – Contains 1,000 pieces of sheet music dating from the mid-nineteenth century to World War II documenting the history of African-Americans in theatre.
Kitty Oliver Oral Histories – Contains printed transcripts, photographs and videos of over 100 interviews from individuals discussing race relations in Broward and Palm Beach Counties during the 1960s and 1970s. Portions of this collection are available on the Broward County Library website in its Digital Archives.
Hewitt Haitian Art Collection – One of the largest collections in the AARLCC, it contains numerous pieces of art. It is recognized as one of the most significant collections of Haitian art in the nation.