St. Louis Public Library and Washington University Libraries Introduce African American Communities Collection

St. Louis, MO… The St. Louis Public Library and Washington University Libraries are proud to announce a joint press conference marking the official introduction of an important digital resource for the people of St. Louis—the newly created African American Communities collection. The event takes place at the St. Louis Public Library’s Julia Davis Branch, 4415 Natural Bridge Avenue, on Thursday, February 4, at 10 a.m. Local dignitaries will join Library, Washington University, and community leaders in celebrating this historic alliance.

St. Louis has been the international focus on race relations since the historic events of Ferguson 2014. The African American Communities collection is a powerful tool that citizens and scholars alike can use to enhance understanding and bring true healing to our community

African American Communities spotlights St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York, as well as towns and cities in North Carolina. Through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, and official records, it provides a multifaceted overview of the African-American communities in those areas, documenting the challenges they faced in dealing with racism, discrimination, and integration.

  • Urban League of St. Louis Records, 1918-1986: Documents the efforts of the
    organization as it worked to meet the needs of the city’s African-American
  • Information related to the St. Louis Pruitt-Igoe Housing Project
  • Materials documenting African-American student protests at Washington
    University beginning in the late 1960s.

In 2013, the Washington University (WU) Libraries began working with academic
publisher Adam Matthew Digital on the creation of the African American Communities.
In creating the collection, Adam Matthew digitized selections from the WU Libraries’
holdings of St. Louis historical materials—materials that previously could be accessed
only by visiting the WU Libraries. The collection is now available online, by subscription.

Recognizing the value of the collection to the entire St. Louis community, the WU
Libraries and Adam Matthew worked together to make African American Communities
collection available, free of charge, to the St. Louis Public Library and its patrons.
The collection is an invaluable historical resource that will benefit students, educators,
and Library users.

Said St. Louis Public Library Executive Director Waller McGuire, “The St. Louis
Public Library is very pleased to work with Washington University by making the African
American Communities collection available to the broad and diverse audience the
Library serves throughout St. Louis. Learning about ourselves, our neighbors, and our
community is more important to St. Louis than ever before, and our libraries stand
together at the forefront of that effort.”

Jeffrey Trzeciak, University Librarian at Washington University noted, “The
sharing of this unique resource with the St. Louis Public Library and its patrons supports
the Washington University Libraries’ vision to inspire creative exploration, cultivate
intellectual growth, and enrich our local community’s scholarly pursuits.”

St. Louis Public Library and WU staff will be available at the event to answer
questions and assist guests in using this exciting resource.

For more information, call Rob at 314-539-0341 or e-mail