St. Louis Public Library gets access to rare collection of Afric -

St. Louis Public Library gets access to rare collection of African-American history

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ST. LOUIS ( -- The St. Louis Public Library is getting a rare opportunity, in the form of an online collection only a handful of libraries in the country can access.

The database gives an in-depth look at how African Americans dealt with the challenges of racism and integration.

“It's a multifaceted media experience with photographs, pamphlets, oral history, official documents and memos," said Rob Tygett, manager of digital library services.

The database focuses on African American communities in St. Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, New York and North Carolina, documenting the the struggles they endured.

“It’s incredibly unique. These materials were held in the Washington University collection,” Tygett said. “(They) are highly valuable and for the first time, they are perfectly and publicly available to our patrons."

Washington University offered its collection to help build the database. In return, Wash U asked that the St. Louis Public Library have access to it so St. Louisans could could see it all; especially events that took place in our communities.

"We're talking about Pruit Igoe material, as well as Urban League documents from it's inception in 1918, as well as documents from the Wash U student protests in the late 1960s," Tygett said.

If you have a St. Louis Public Library card, you can access the database at any of the library locations for free.

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