The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is affiliated with the New York Public Library. They have created an amazing free digital collection that focuses on 19th century African American women writers. If you have an interest in 19th century literature, African American literature, African American history, or American history in general you’ll appreciate this collection. You should definitely take the time to play around with the site and expose yourself to authors you might not otherwise have discovered.
This resource was reviewed in Choice Reviews Online (www.cro2.org):
“For more than 80 years, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has served as the preeminent research facility for the preservation of materials from the African Diaspora. However, because much of the collection is noncirculating, the material is most easily accessed by those in the New York City area. At this site, the Schomburg Center offers free, full-text access to a rich digital collection: 52 works written by African American women during the 19th century. This impressive collection includes works that are the foundation of the African American women’s literary tradition, many of which are out of print. Here one will find such canonical works as Narrative of Sojourner Truth, Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, and Ann Plato’s Essays: Including Biographies and Miscellaneous Pieces, in Prose and Poetry, the first book of essays published by an African American. Searching is straightforward: one can browse by title or author, or by resource type (i.e., fiction, poetry, biography and autobiography, essays). In addition, the entire collection is keyword searchable. This allows users to search easily for topics such as slavery, emancipation, religion, or Civil War, thereby affording an understanding of how different writers addressed subjects relevant to their experience as African American women in the 19th century. Brief yet detailed biographies of each writer provide further contextualization of the works included. . .” – reviewed by R. Walsh, Three Rivers Community College