New to the Library: The Baltimore Afro-American

I’m happy to let you know that the Library now has access to the digital archive of The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988) from ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Founded in 1892 it is the most widely circulated black newspaper on the Atlantic coast and the longest-running family-owned African American newspaper in the United States.

You can access The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988) via the Databases A-Z list and Newspapers & Magazines database list. You can also access the title through DiscoverEd*

Screenshot of ‘Looking ‘Em Over with Sam Lacy’ from Afro-American, March 31, 1945, p. 18.

Often referred to as The Afro, The Baltimore Afro-American was founded by John H. Murphy, Sr., a former slave and Civil War veteran. In addition to featuring the first black female correspondent (Murphy’s grand-daughter, Elizabeth Murphy Phillips Moss) and female sportswriters (Nell Dodson), the paper’s contributors have included writer Langston Hughes, intellectual J. Saunders Redding, artist Romare Bearden, and sports editor Sam Lacy, whose column influenced the desegregation of professional sports.

Through the decades, the newspaper fought for equal employment rights, urged African American participation in politics, and advocated state-funded higher education for blacks. In the 1930s, The Afro-American launched “The Clean Block” campaign, which is still in existence today, to clean up inner-city neighborhoods and fight crime. It stationed correspondents in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, providing first-hand reports to readers.

The Baltimore Afro-American from ProQuest allows you to search and browse issues from 1893-1988. Issues have been scanned from cover to cover so you also get to see advertisements, photographs and illustrations, obituaries, etc.

Screenshot from page 20 of Afro-American, September 19, 1936.

Access The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988) via the Databases A-Z list and Newspapers & Magazines database list. You can also access the title through DiscoverEd*

*Due to various slight name changes over the years and different editions there are 6 separate entries for the Baltimore Afro-American on DiscoverEd.

t’s probably easier to just access The Baltimore Afro-American from the Databases A-Z list or Newspapers & Magazines database list as this gives you access to the full collection (all editions, all titles, etc.)

The Library has access to a large number of newspaper and magazine (periodical) archives and you can access these from the Newspapers & Magazines database list.

Access is only available to current students and staff at the University of Edinburgh.

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for History, Classics and Archaeology

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