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Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives consist mainly of primary and secondary materials on African-American themes. The collections serve the research needs of Fisk students and faculty as well as external scholars.

Among the rare items there are:

  • The American edition of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773)
  • Examples of Benjamin Banneker’s almanacs
  • A bible especially edited for slaves in the West Indies in 1808
  • A first edition of Les Cenelles (1845), the first anthology of poetry by blacks published in this country
  • Clotel, or The President’s Daughter (1853), the first novel published by an African-American
  • Harriet E. Wilson’s Our Nig (1859), the first novel published by a black woman in the U.S.
  • Nearly 200 printed items from American minstrel shows
  • A bible presented to President Abraham Lincoln by free blacks of Baltimore in 1864

Special Collections contains university archives as well as papers and works of scholarly and literary figures of national acclaim. Among these are:

 

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