Collections in the National Archives for Black Women's History
The National Archives for Black Women's History (NABWH) of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site (MAMC) is the only Archive solely dedicated to the history of African American women. The core of the collection is the historic corporate records of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), along with personal papers, and corporate records of organizations mostly associated with the NCNW. These records provide a detailed record of 60 years of the development and operations of this renowned civil rights organization.
The value of an archive is the totality of the information it contains, not necessarily in the special "gems" of correspondence from famous people or particular documents. More important are the questions a researcher can ask of the archive. This archive tells the story of the often undervalued and overlooked civil rights work conducted "under the radar" and within the system. It tells a story of leadership, collaboration, coordination, and perseverance to make progress in civil rights for all people. It tells the story of the triumphs and difficulties of the work of these remarkable women.
Researchers have access to the archives in a dedicated area at the Museum Resource Center in Landover, Maryland. Researchers should submit a request to the Archivist detailing their research project. Please allow enough lead time to allow for the researcher to study the finding aids and develop a research plan, the evaluation of the request, and scheduling a research visit. Research slots are often booked weeks in advance, and we can support one researcher at a time.
Last updated: July 27, 2017