Black History Resources

Table of Contents

Black History Resources

This guide is designed to get you started discovering and researching Black history. UAPL’s Research Librarians have compiled recommended websites, books, digital resources, databases, and more, that are reliable and authoritative resources for learning about the Black experience in the United States. 

For assistance using these, or any of the UAPL’s other resources, please contact the Research Department at 614-486-3342, or email us at


The following are subscriptions provided to UA Library patrons free of charge with your card number and PIN.  Please note: Links to our databases open in a new window or tab in your browser.

African American Heritage – Available to UA Library patrons from home using a library card number and PIN, this resource provides records and resources for African American family history research, including the Federal Census, Freedman’s Bank, and much more.

In addition to African American Heritage, the UAPL also provides access to additional genealogy resources, including Ancestry Library Edition (in-library use only), Fold3 (military records), and Heritage Quest OnlineClick here to see the full list of genealogy subscriptions.

Gale Reference eBooks – The UA Library’s collection of reference ebooks includes several titles relevant to Black history and experience, including:

Gale Literature – African American literature is an important part of understanding Black history and experience. Explore this database for literary analysis of classic and contemporary Black literature, as well as biographies of prominent Black authors.


The UAPL reference book collection, available for use in the Research Department of the Tremont Branch Library, includes a variety of titles covering Black history and biography, as seen below. Click on the links to go to the UAPL catalog entry to find out more about each title.


History and Literature

Black History in Ohio


Pleasant Litchford Archives
Pleasant Litchford (1789–1879) began life as an enslaved person in the Lynchburg, Virginia area. A blacksmith by trade, he purchased his freedom and moved with his family to the Columbus area sometime around 1830. By 1849, Pleasant had purchased 227 acres in Perry Township, two distinct parcels that today would encompass both Northam Park and our high school, making him one of the largest landowners in southernmost Perry Township. This collection gathers facts and primary sources related to Pleasant Litchford’s life and death.

The Pleasant Litchford Archives is one of several collections included in the UA Archives, an initiative of the UA Library, in partnership with local organizations and individuals, to preserve and make available the Upper Arlington community’s historical resources. 


Educational Resources – This invaluable resource is an online reference center that includes thousands of encyclopedia articles, hundreds of speeches and primary source documents, timelines, bibliographies, and special features on African American History. – This collaborative project from the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum highlights national exhibits, collections and teaching guides for African American history.

National Archive: African American Heritage – Explore the wealth of National Archives material that documents the Black experience.

National Museum of African American History & Culture – This museum is devoted exclusively to documentation of African American life, history, and culture, and offers learning opportunities on their website. 

Local Resources

Equal UA – This community organization strives to create a more inclusive and equitable culture in Upper Arlington, and organizes events and educational opportunities to work towards this goal. The links below are examples of what they have accomplished and plan for the future regarding Black history in Upper Arlington.

Upper Arlington Historical Society – Volunteers at the Upper Arlington Historical Society are dedicated to discovering, preserving, and sharing the community’s heritage. Below are links to two of their research projects that are connected to Black history in Upper Arlington.


Discover material on African American history in the UAPL catalog by exploring the following subject terms.

UA Library Digital Resources – Access and search the library’s collections of e-books, e-magazines, streaming video, music, and more to discover content related to black history, culture, and experience. Check out our Digital Resources Guide to Anti-Racism for a sample of titles available through the following services.

  • Digital Downloads – e-books and audiobooks, as well as magazines.
  • Kanopy – Streaming cinema and documentaries.
  • Hoopla – Streaming movies and music.
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