Skip to Main Content

Black Feminism Introductory Research Guide: Manuscripts and Archives

This guide highlighting the works of Black women within the collections of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library. Created by Amara Green.


Please find below a list of collections and papers of prominent Black women housed within the Schomburg Center. 

For more resources please follow the link to be directed to the Manuscripts Archives and Rare Books Division.


National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (U.S.), Angela Davis Defense Committee collection, 1970-1976


Records of the Defense Committee including incoming letters of support and sympathy from the United States, Germany, and Eastern Europe (many in German); several hundred form postcards to Angela Davis, signed and with notes mostly from abroad (form postcard in French); large number of form birthday cards to Angela Davis with notes; and numerous greeting cards portraying Angela Davis. Also, printed material from magazines and newspapers, Alliance newsletters, pamphlets by and about Davis and other political cases such as the prison inmate riot at Attica, as well as printed material, posters, and information about other cases in which the Alliance was involved.


The Ella Baker Papers


The Ella Baker papers provide a snapshot of Baker's life as an activist and visionary for a variety of progressive organizations in the United States, from the 1930s through the 1980s. Documented here are the organizations and individuals that were central to Baker's network such as George Schulyer, The Young Women's Christian Association, In Friendship, A. Phillip Randolph, and Bayard Rustin. The collection, however, does not document her personal life nor does it fully capture her philosophy or political ideas.


Lorraine Hansberry Papers

The Lorraine Hansberry Papers document Lorraine Hansberry's life as an award-winning playwright and activist, and chronicles her activities during the Civil Rights Movement. Virtually all of Hansberry's writings, autobiographical materials, journals, diaries, personal and professional correspondence are included here, as well as related materials generated by her late husband, Robert Nemiroff, and his third wife, Jewell Gresham-Nemiroff, as the executors of Hansberry's estate. Significant correspondents include Daisy Bates, Louis Burnham, Julian Mayfield, Robert Nemiroff, and William Worthy.


Michele Wallace Papers

The Michele Wallace Papers document her career as a cultural critic, journalist and intellectual since the late 1970s. The Personal Papers series includes biographical information on Wallace in interviews, statements, letters, and educational materials. Information about her mother, artist Faith Ringgold, and other family members is also found here. Significant correspondents include Wallace's former husband Eugene Nesmith, and writers Jill Nelson, Ishmael Reed, Roberta (Bobbi) Sykes, Alice Walker, Cornel West and Sherley Anne Williams.

Zora Neale Hurston Collections

The Zora Neale Hurston collections includes writings consisting of nine poems and one short story entitled "The Conversion of Man", and correspondence with William Clifford and Lawrence Jordan.