One of the best things for me about our library is that the collection includes so much material that fed into modern social activism. This depository has been actively collecting pamphlets and books on the topics of education, suffrage, and slavery for almost 160 years. When we consider our collection policy, a big priority is to consider what the historical view on a topic has been over the decades.
Among the many topics within that of civil rights, those interested in learning more about its roots should consider our collections on the American Missionary Association. The AMA was formed as an abolitionist group in the mid-19th century and continued into reconstruction with the goal of educating African Americans, particularly in the South. We have an extensive microfilm collection of their reports, as well as periodicals (The American Missionary particularly), pamphlets, sermons -- so much more.
Rachel and our band of catalogers have been very conscientious over the years about adding subject headings, so researchers are more likely to find related items on topics like Civil Rights, Abolition, Antislavery Movements, Race Relations, and so on. When searching various subjects, check out the "Suggested Search" button at the top of results pages, or click on links within the catalog records. You may find the elusive niche you were looking for all along.
As ever, if you have any questions on finding what we have, do not hesitate to contact our friendly and resourceful staff.
Image courtesy of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University and the Louisiana Digital Library exhibit The American Missionary Association and the Promise of a Multicultural America: 1839-1954.