Through the generous support of a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act, over 800 prints, photographs, and pieces of ephemera documenting the African American experience will be digitized and added to the Library Company’s digital collections catalog ImPAC. A collection of national importance, the graphics depict African American life, community, work, art, and political and social activism from the early American period to the early 20th century.
Views of prominent Philadelphia African American churches like Mother Bethel, political cartoons addressing the effect of slavery on the young nation, and commemorative prints recognizing early civil rights victories following the Civil War are just a few of the visual materials being reproduced. The graphic files with full descriptions will be accessible in ImPAC for research onsite and remotely by the summer of 2014. The material will augment and complement our nearly 50 existing digital collections, including 18th- and 19th-cenutry ephemera, Philadelphia commercial lithographs, and views by early Philadelphia photographers.
Our African Americana graphics have continually been some of our most requested visual materials by our readers, and we are delighted to provide further access to this tremendous historical resource.
For sneak previews of the graphics to be included, please follow our progress through Twitter, #lcpprints.