The Amistad Research Center houses over 15 million manuscript items, 20,000 books, 2,000 periodicals, 1000 oral histories, and numerous sources in microfilm. Although some online searches will yield useful results, many of the Center’s collections are not available online. Below are aids to discovering the rich resources that Amistad has to offer. However, researchers are encouraged to contact Reference staff for a more complete list or overview of the Center’s collections related to their topic of interest. The Center also maintains a list of publications and media productions based on research at the Center.
Amistad’s printed collections are listed in Tulane University's library catalog. To limit your search to the Center’s holdings:
- Click “Limit To ” from the main search screen
- Select “Amistad Research Center” from the location menu
Researchers can search the catalog using their computer at home or by using the public access computer at the Center. Reference staff will be pleased to provide tips on advance searching.
Manuscripts and Archival Collections
The Center is currently adding accession records and finding aids for its manuscript and archival collections to its online finding aid database. Please note: This will be an ongoing project to add new finding aids as collections are made available for research and to add older finding aids as time allows. Therefore, many significant collections are not represented in the online database. Accession records for donations received between 1966-2004 and 2011 are currently listed in the database, and the Center plans to have all 2005-2010 accessions listed by the end of 2012. Please contact the Reference Department for information on those collections not listed in the online database.The Center also maintains additional catalogs and finding aids to aid researchers. However, not all of these are online.
The Manuscripts Index is an alphabetical card file providing name and subject indexing for a portion of the Center’s holdings. It provides item level access for correspondence and other materials processed prior to the early 1990s.
Guide to Researching the American Missionary Association
This guide offers entry into the American Missionary Association Archives and related collections housed at the Amistad Research Center.
The Center maintains brief descriptive subject guides to over 20 different subjects, including Louisiana Creoles and Free People of Color, slavery, music, freemasonry, Mardi Gras, and others.
American Missionary Association Digital Collection
The American Missionary Association and the Promise of a Multicultural America: 1839-1954 provides access to 5,000 photographs reflecting the activities and programs of the American Missionary Association (AMA) from 1839 to 1954. Photographers working for the AMA traveled through urban and rural communities within the continental United States and abroad, visually recording the diverse communities served by the AMA's broad social justice agenda. The collection includes selected images from the AMA Archives, AMA Archives Addenda, AMA Annual Reports and The American Missionary Records.
Amistad holds guides to a number of manuscript collections from other archival institutions, for which the Center holds microfilm copies. The Center also maintains a vertical file collection on various topics.
The Center also provides access to a number of subscription databases hosted by Tulane University, which provide abstracts to citations or full-text articles. However, due to licensing restrictions, access is limited to those with Tulane University affiliation or to those researchers using the public access computer at Amistad. A partial list of databases related to Amistad's holdings includes:
Accessible Archives: African American Newspapers
African American Song
American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography
Black Thought and Culture
HAPI (Hispanic American Periodicals Index)
North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories
North American Indian Thought and Culture
Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007
Slavery and Anti-slavery: A Transnational Archive