The University of Minnesota Libraries, in partnership with the Penumbra Theatre Company, is launching Umbra Search African American History
The University of Minnesota Libraries, in partnership with the Penumbra Theatre Company, is launching Umbra Search African American History, a free and openly available online search tool at www.umbrasearch.org that facilitates broad access to over 400,000 digitized archival materials documenting African American history from more than 1,000 libraries, archives, and cultural heritage institutions across the United States.
“Now out of its beta and testing phase, Umbra Search builds a national corpus of African American works,” said director Cecily Marcus. “No library is able to digitize all of its holdings, but by bringing together materials from all over the country, Umbra Search allows students and scholars to tell stories that have never been told before. Umbra Search partners have amazing collections, and now those materials can sit side by side with related content from a library on the other side of the country.”
With a growing user base of more than 55,000, Umbra Search African American History features materials that touch every subject and discipline, show every part of the country, and feature everything from music to oral histories to photographs, maps, handwritten letters, and much more.
Content from a roster national partners including Yale University, Temple University, Howard University, Smithsonian Institute, Umbra Search African American History is a resource for students, educators, scholars, artists, and the general public through:
- The free www.umbrasearch.org site and embeddable search widget (no account or special access needed!);
- Digitization of over 500,000 African American history materials from the University of Minnesota Libraries’ collections;
- Support of students, educators, artists, and the public through residencies, workshops, and events locally and around the country.
“Umbra Search African American History is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about African American history,” said Kara Olidge, Executive Director of Amistad Research Center at Tulane University and Umbra Search advisory board member. “By providing access to thousands of digitized materials, Umbra Search makes it possible to do research at libraries all across the country without getting on a plane. We are honored to be a partner.”
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