The manuscript collections at the Library of Congress comprise some of the nation's most valuable primary sources for the study of African-American history and culture. Many of these collections have been digitized and are accessible online. Some collections described below are curated and housed in the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division. A few collections are described below through additional bibliographic information the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.
The Manuscript Division seeks to preserve personal papers and organizational records that document the course of America's national experience. Its more than twelve thousand collections and more than seventy million items touch upon every aspect of American history and culture. The Manuscript Division's holdings are strongest, however, in the areas of American national government, the federal judiciary, diplomacy, military history, women's history, and black history.