Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
UMass Amherst seal
W.E.B. Du Bois Papers, 1803-1999 (Bulk: 1877-1963)
382 boxes (168.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 312

Abstract:
Scholar, writer, educator, and co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who was involved in many areas of twentieth century racial, literary, and social reform movements. Includes over 100,000 articles of correspondence (more than 3/4 of the papers), speeches, articles, newspaper columns, nonfiction books, research materials, book reviews, pamphlets and leaflets, petitions, novels, essays, forewords, student papers, manuscripts of pageants, plays, short stories and fables, poetry, photographs, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, videotapes, audiotapes, and miscellaneous materials. A copy of the full published guide, which also includes a detailed listing of materials that were microfilmed is available at: http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/collections/dubois/duboisguide.pdf

Terms of Access and Use:

There are no restrictions on access to the contents of the collection. Since many of the items are fragile, however, researchers are requested to use the microfilm whenever possible.

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Biographical Note

Du Bois was born in the small New England village of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, three years after the end of the Civil War. Unlike most black Americans, his family had not just emerged from slavery. His great-grandfather had fought in the American Revolution, and the Burghardts had been an accepted part of the community for generations. Yet from his earliest years Du Bois was aware of differences that set him apart from his Yankee neighbors. In addition to the austere hymns of his village Congregational Church, Du Bois learned the songs of a much more ancient tradition from his grandmother. Passed from generation to generation, their original meanings long forgotten, the songs of Africa were sung around the fire in Du Bois' boyhood home. Thus, from the beginning, Du Bois was aware of an earlier tradition that set him apart from his New England community - a distant past shrouded in mystery, in sharp contrast to the detailed chronicle of Western Civilization that he learned at school.

Du Bois' father left home soon after Du Bois was born. The youngster was raised largely by his mother, who imparted to her child the sense of a special destiny. She encouraged his studies and his adherence to the Victorian virtues and pieties characteristic of rural New England in the 19th century. Du Bois in turn gravely accepted a sense of duty toward his mother that transcended all other loyalties.

Du Bois excelled at school and outshone his white contemporaries. While in high school he worked as a correspondent for New York newspapers and became something of a prodigy in the eyes of the community. As he reached adolescence he began to become aware of the subtle social boundaries which he was expected to observe. This made him all the more determined to force the community to recognize his academic achievements.

Du Bois was clearly a young man of promise. The influential members of his community recognized this and quietly decided his future. Great Barrington, like most of New England, still glowed with the embers of the abolitionist fires that had only recently been dampened with the ending of the Reconstruction in the South. Together with the missionary inclinations of the Congregationalist Church, these sensibilities manifested themselves in the community's attitude towards Du Bois, who presented them with an opportunity to perform an act of Christian duty toward a promising example of what they considered to be the less fortunate races of the world.

Du Bois had always wanted to go to Harvard and he was initially disappointed when he learned that it had been arranged that he attend Fisk University in Nashville. But the experience changed his life. It helped to clarify his identity and pointed him in the direction of his life's work. When Du Bois left Fisk in the fall of 1885 it was the last time he would call Great Barrington his home. His mother had died during that summer and Du Bois entered a world that he would claim for his own. Du Bois arrived in Nashville a serious, contemplative, self-conscious young man with habits and attitudes formed by a boyhood in Victorian New England. At Fisk he encountered sons and daughters of former slaves who had borne the mark of oppression but had nourished a rich cultural and spiritual tradition that Du Bois recognized as his own. Du Bois also encountered the White South. The achievements of Reconstruction were being destroyed by the white politicians and businessmen who had gained political control. Blacks were being terrorized at the polls and were being driven back into the economic status that differed from institutional slavery in little but name. Du Bois saw the suffering and the dignity of rural blacks when he taught school during the summers in the East Tennessee countryside, and he resolved that in some way his life would be dedicated to a struggle against racial and economic oppression. He was determined to continue his education and his perseverance was rewarded when he was offered a scholarship to study at Harvard University.

Du Bois' life was a struggle of warring ideas and ideals. He entered Harvard during its golden age and studied with William James and Albert Bushnell Hart. It was a progressive era and Du Bois was smitten with the ideal of science - an objective truth that could dispel once and for all the irrational prejudices and ignorances that stood in the way of a just social order. He brought back the German scientific ideal from the University of Berlin and was one of the first to initiate scientific sociological study in the United States. For years he labored at Atlanta University and created landmarks in the scientific study of race relations. Yet a shadow fell over his work as he saw the nation retreating into barbarism. Repressive segregation laws, lynching, and terror were on the increase despite the march of science. Du Bois' faith in the detached role of the scientist was shaken, and with the Atlanta Riot of 1906 Du Bois with his "Litany at Atlanta" passionately sounded a challenge to those forces of repression and destruction. At a time when Booker T. Washington counseled acceptance of the social order, Du Bois sounded a call to arms and with the founding of the Niagara Movement and later the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People entered a new phase of his life. He became an impassioned champion of direct assault on the legal, political, and economic system that thrived on the exploitation of the poor and the powerless. As he began to point out the connections between the plight of Afro- Americans and those who suffered under colonial rule in other areas of the world, his struggle assumed international proportions. The Pan-African Movement that flowered in the years after World War I was the beginning of the creation of a third world consciousness.

Du Bois' style of leadership was intensely personal. He sought no mass following like Marcus Garvey, and the fierceness and unyielding determination with which he fought for his ideals alienated many who counseled less direct means of achieving limited political goals.

In the years after World War II the desperate struggles that Du Bois had waged came together in a vision that was to challenge many of the assumptions of his contemporaries. He had fought for many progressive causes but saw them consumed by a cold war mentality that silenced rational debate.

As he became more of an international figure, Du Bois was accepted less and less by his contemporaries at home. Yet when he left America to become a citizen of Ghana in 1961, he did not do so as a rejection of his countrymen. Returning to the land of his forefathers marked a resolution of many conflicts with which Du Bois had struggled all his life.

Du Bois' mature vision was a reconciliation of the "sense of double consciousness"- the "two warring ideals" of being both black and an American - that he had written about fifty years earlier. He came to accept struggle and conflict as essential elements of life, but he continued to believe in the inevitable progress of the human race - that out of individual struggles against a divided self and political struggles of the oppressed against their oppressors, a broader and fuller human life would emerge that would benefit all of mankind.

After a lifetime of struggle, Du Bois' last statement to the world was one of hope and confidence in the ability of human beings to shape their own destinies. "One thing alone I charge you," he wrote: As you live, believe in Life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader and fuller life. The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the Great End comes slowly, because time is long.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The W.E.B. Du Bois Papers, 1803-1999, document virtually every stage in his long career and show his involvement in many areas of twentieth century racial, literary, and social reform movements. In particular, the correspondence files, including well over 100,000 items show Du Bois' interactions with others in these realms. The earliest letter in the collection, a note to his grandmother, dates from 1877 when Du Bois was just nine years old. Among the latest is the draft of a letter, written not long before his death in 1963, appealing to the leaders of the Soviet Union and China to heal the divisions that had arisen in the world communist movement. The files, containing only a few items from his early youth, become more plentiful for Du Bois' student days in the 1880s and 1890s, and the commencement of his career as scholar and educator in the 1890s and 1900s. They are at their fullest during his period with the NAACP as editor of The Crisis, 1910-1934, and they remain nearly as abundant for the last thirty years of his life, 1934-1963.

This collection is organized into twenty-four series:

  • Series 1. Correpsondence, 1877-1965
  • Series 2. Speeches, 1888-1962
  • Series 3. Articles, 1887-1968
  • Series 4. Newspaper Columns, 1927-1961, n.d.
  • Series 5. Nonfiction Books, ca. 1896-1962
  • Series 6. Research Materials, 1896-1959, n.d.
  • Series 7. Pamphlets and Leaflets, 1902-1962
  • Series 8. Book Reviews, 1905-1961
  • Series 9. Petitions, 1947-1961
  • Series 10. Essays, Forewords, and Student Papers, ca. 1888-1962
  • Series 11. Novels, 1892-1961
  • Series 12. Pageants, 1913-1941, n.d.
  • Series 13. Plays, 1928-1940, n.d.
  • Series 14. Short Stories and Fables, 1895-1950s
  • Series 15. Poetry, 1907-1965, n.d.
  • Series 16. Miscellaneous Material, 1803-1964
  • Series 17. Photographs, ca. 1864-1963
  • Series 18. Memorabilia, 1913-1963
  • Series 19. Motion Pictures and Tapes, 1958-1979
  • Series 20. Newspaper Clippings, 1901-1955, n.d.
  • Series 21. Copies of Du Bois materials from other locations, 1870-1983
  • Series 22. Miscellaneous material concerning Du Bois and the Du Bois collection, 1969-1984
  • Series 23. Accretions to the Du Bois collections, 1890-1963

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There are no restrictions on access to the contents of the collection. Since many of the items are fragile, however, researchers are requested to use the microfilm whenever possible.

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: W.E.B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Additional Formats

Most of the Du Bois papers at the University of Massachusetts were microfilmed in l979 and are available in many locations in the United States and elsewhere, or through interlibrary loan, or by purchase from University Microfilms International.

Images from this collection are also available in the Online Exhibit of Materials from the Du Bois Papers.

History of the Collection
Custodial history:

During his lifetime Du Bois conscientiously retained his incoming letters, copies of his outgoing letters, and files of his speeches, articles, books and other manuscripts. While these files were most complete for the middle and later stages of his life, all periods are represented to some degree in this collection. Some papers were transferred at various times to Fisk University, Yale University and the Schomburg Center of the New York Public Library, but Du Bois retained ownership of most of his papers pending a final decision on a repository site.

When Du Bois moved to Ghana in 1961, he left the bulk of his papers with Herbert Aptheker in New York City and named him as editor of a planned edition of Du Bois' correspondence and other works. While Du Bois did take some correspondence and other manuscripts to Africa, Aptheker was left the greater part of the collection, which he and his wife arranged into workable order and supplemented with copies of many Du Bois materials they located in other repositories. The last two years of Du Bois' life generated additional papers including new correspondence, papers relating to the Encyclopedia Africana, and other manuscripts. At Du Bois' death in 1963, ownership of his files passed to his widow, Shirley Graham Du Bois. When President Nkrumah's government was overthrown in 1966, Mrs. Du Bois left Ghana in haste for Cairo, Egypt, taking the papers with her. Aptheker continued to care for the papers left with him until the entire collection went to Massachusetts in 1973. In the early 1970s, aware that plans for a permanent location had not been made, University of Massachusetts officials negotiated an agreement with Mrs. Du Bois for all of Dr. Du Bois' papers to come to the University. Since then, accretions to the collection have been received from David Du Bois, Herbert Aptheker, Randolph Bromery, David Levering Lewis, Veoria Shivery, U. S. Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation (by request through the Freedom of Information Act) and others.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert W. McDonnell. Biographical essay by Kerry W. Buckley.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Language
English.
Additional Finding Aids Available

A copy of the full published guide, which also includes a detailed listing of materials that were microfilmed is available at http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/manuscripts/dubois_papers/WEB_DuBois_guide.pdf

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Series Descriptions
1877-1965
119.25 linear feetMicrofilm reels 1-79

Arrangement:

The correspondence is arranged chronologically by year, and alphabetically by name of correspondent within each year. There are two major exceptions to this arrangement: (1) The correspondence from 1877 to 1910 is so sparse, compared to other years, that it has been grouped together in a single alphabetical sequence; (2) By the beginning of 1911, and lasting through 1934, Du Bois had so much correspondence as editor of The Crisis (first issue in November 1910) that Crisis correspondence has been separated into a discrete group within each year. In each of those years the General correspondence comes first, with a complete alphabet of correspondents, followed by Crisis- related correspondence in a second complete alphabet.

Scope and content:

Series 1, Correspondence, constitutes over three-fourths of the Du Bois Papers at the University of Massachusetts. It includes correspondence received by Du Bois and carbon copies of letters he wrote to others throughout his life. His life covered ninety-five years of important social change in the United States and in the world, during which Du Bois was a leading participant in many of the most important efforts for change. He knew and corresponded with many of the leading figures of his long lifetime.

Du Bois' correspondence files reflect his involvement in many areas of twentieth century racial, literary and social reform movements. The 100,000 or more items document his career and provide a wealth of information on the work of others with whom Du Bois came into contact. The earliest item of correspondence is from 1877, although the bulk of the material is from the post-1910 period. The files continue through the years of his work with the NAACP, teaching and research at Atlanta University during the 1930s and 1940s, return to the NAACP in 1944, involvement with the peace movement in the late 1940s and the 1950s, and work with the Encyclopedia Africana until his death in 1963. A few items of Shirley Graham Du Bois' correspondence concerning Du Bois from late 1963, 1964 and 1965 bring this part of the collection to a close. Numbered among Du Bois' correspondents are such figures as Jane Addams, Sherwood Anderson, Ralph Bunche, Andrew Carnegie, Charles Chesnutt, Countee Cullen, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Ghandi, W.C. Handy, Langston Hughes, William James, James Weldon Johnson, Jomo Kenyatta, Martin Luther King Jr., Claude Mckay, Margaret Mead, Kwame Nkrumah, Eugene O'Neill, Sylvia Pankhurst, A. Phillip Randolph, Paul Robeson, Eleanor, Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, Arthur and Joel Spingarn, Moorfield Storey, Mary Church Terrell, Carl Van Vechien, Booker T. Washington, H.G. Wells, Walter White, Roy Wilkins and many other key participants in the history of Du Bois' time.

1888-1962
8.5 linear feetMicrofilm reels 80 - 81

Series 2, Speeches, includes the manuscripts of over three hundred different speeches, ranging from those he gave at his college commencements from Fisk and Harvard to others delivered near the end of his life. Most date from the 1940s and 1950s and show his interest in world peace, colonialism, and developments in Africa and America. Many speeches are available from his 1950 campaign for election as United States Senator from New York. These speeches as a whole contain Du Bois' developed (and developing) thoughts on various subjects. While a number of his speeches were published, it is worth noting that he would revise the spoken version considerably before releasing it for publication. Thus the original manuscripts retain considerable research value even in cases where the speech was later published, some in greatly revised form.

1887-1968
6.5 linear feetMicrofilm reels 81 - 83

Arrangement:

The manuscripts are arranged in five subseries, and chronologically within each subseries.

Scope and content:

Manuscripts of articles include drafts and other versions of many of the items published by Du Bois in the numerous journals to which he contributed over his lifetime. In addition, complete or incomplete manuscripts are to be found for many articles which apparently were never published. In all, over four hundred manuscripts of articles are in the collection, with dates ranging from the 1880s to articles published after his death in 1963. They are typescripts unless otherwise indicated.

(A) Articles, published, other than in Crisis

(B) Articles published in Crisis

(C) Articles not known to have been published

(D) Articles in printed form

(E) Crisis articles in printed form

1927-1961, n.d.
1.5 linear feetMicrofilm reels 83 - 84

Arrangement:

They are arranged alphabetically by title of the newspaper, and chronologically within each paper.

Scope and content:

Manuscript versions of Du Bois' columns for the Chicago Defender, Chicago Globe, Freedom, National Guardian, New Africa, New York Amsterdam News, People's Voice, and Pittsburgh Courier show his thoughts on the news and events of the day. It is important to note that the various newspaper editors did not always publish the columns he submitted, but would occasionally find room to publish only selected portions. Some column manuscripts were, in fact, never published, but they are important as Du Bois' intended public statements of his views.

1896-1962
5.25 linear feetMicrofilm reels 84 - 86

Arrangement:

The works are arranged alphabetically by title.

Scope and content:

Manuscripts of nonfiction books include several unpublished items. A World Search for Democracy (mostly complete) was prepared in the late 1930s. Also of interest are Russia and America: An Interpretation; This Africa: How it Arose, Whither it Goes; and research notes for the Encyclopedia of the Negro and for a study of the Black soldier in World War I, "The Black Man and the Wounded World." There are prospectuses of several books. Of those books that were published, of particular interest are several surviving handwritten chapters from The Souls of Black Folk and a complete typescript, with handwritten corrections, of A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life form the Last Decade of Its First Century: The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois. There are also other manuscripts of published works.

1896-1959, n.d.
0.75 linear feetMicrofilm reel 86

Research materials in the Papers include typescripts, handwritten manuscripts, and clipped and other printed materials, arranged in the following sequence: research notes on Africa, general research notes, notes that appear likely to have been made for speeches or articles, and miscellaneous research materials. There are about 800 to 1,000 pages in all, in these four groups.

1902-1962
1 linear footMicrofilm reel 86

Arrangement:

The materials are arranged chronologically.

Scope and content:

Materials that resulted, or were intended to result, in pamphlets or leaflets appear in this series in typed, handwritten, and/or printed form. The publications range from 1902 until 1962, and the subjects show a great variety, ranging from Du Bois' 1904 Credo and a Bibliography of the Negro Folk Song in America to Blacks, Black education, Benjamin Franklin, peace and the H-bomb.

1905-1961
1 linear footMicrofilm reel 86

Fifty-five reviews by Du Bois of books by other authors are included here, in chronological order from 1905 to 1961. Du Bois concentrated, in these reviews, on Blacks, Africa, the American South, and race relations.

1947-1961
0.25 linear footMicrofilm reel 86

Petitions here include the manuscript of Du Bois' introduction and the contributions of some other authors to the NAACP's 1947 "Appeal to the World: A Statement on the Denial of Human Rights to Minorities..." and other petitions from then to 1961.

1888-1962
1 linear footMicrofilm reels 86 - 87

Arrangement:

Each of the subseries indicated in the series title is arranged chronologically.

Scope and content:

The subseries Essays is limited to Du Bois' contributions to encyclopedias and other works of multiple authorship. Most were published 1924-1962, but several apparently were never published. There are five Forewords contributed by Du Bois to books written by others between 1922 and 1962. The Student Papers are arranged in four groups: papers at Fisk around 1888; papers at Harvard, 1888-1891; student papers, largely on economics and politics, from the 1890s; and "Sketches, 1889-1896," which includes some travel notes, journals, notes on celebrations of his birthday, and some creative writing.

1892-1961
1.25 linear feetMicrofilm reel 87

Arrangement:

The materials are arranged alphabetically by title, with a number of untitled or unidentified fragments and notes at the end of the file.

Scope and content:

The earliest evidence in the Papers of Du Bois as a novelist is the manuscript and plot outline of A Fellow of Harvard, 1892, when Du Bois was twenty-four years old. The latest is fragments and notes concerning his trilogy The Black Flame and notes on Worlds of Color, both dating from 1961.

1913-1941, n.d.
0.5 linear feetMicrofilm reel 87

Arrangement:

The pageants are arranged alphabetically by title.

Scope and content:

Du Bois' pageants were large-scale presentations on the course of Black history that were designed to appeal to a mass audience. His most famous pageant, The Star of Ethiopia, designed for a cast of 1,000, was presented in 1913 in New York, in 1915 in Washington, in 1916 in Philadelphia, and in 1925 in Los Angeles. The Star of Ethiopia papers include typescripts and manuscripts, stage directions, posters, programs, and financial records of some productions. Manuscripts for other pageants include George Washington and Black Folk: A Pageant for the Bicentennary, 1732-1932; The Jewel of Ethiopia; The Seven Gifts of Ethiopia; The Nine Tales of Black Folk, and others.

1928-1940, n.d.
2 linear feetMicrofilm reels 87 - 88

Arrangement:

The manuscripts of plays are in two groups.

Scope and content:

The first, Playthings of the Night, was intended for book publication in 1931, and contains introductory essays by Du Bois and various drafts of five plays. The second group, The Darker Wisdom, was intended for book publication in 1940, and contains manuscripts of four of the five plays in the previously proposed title (one with a changed title). The plays included are The All Mother (later entitled The Slave, the Serf, and the Blond Beast); Black Hercules at the Forks of the Road; Black Man; Christ on the Andes; and Seven Up. An outline for The Prodigal Race, an unidentified fragment of a play or tale, and variant title pages or subtitles are also included.

1895-1950s
1 linear footMicrofilm reel 88

The handwritten and typed manuscripts are in two groups: seven "fables" of one to two pages each, and some thirty- five longer short stories plus a few fragments. The earliest dated item is an 1895 story about Wilberforce University. Du Bois continued to write in this genre at least into the 1950s, when there are many stories signed "Bud Weisob," an anagram of his own name, perhaps an attempt to avoid the McCarthy era's blacklisting of known or suspected Communists. The great majority of the stories were never published.

1907-1965, n.d.
0.25 linear footMicrofilm reel 88

Arrangement:

The poetry is arranged in two groups: about 130 pages of poetry that was published, mostly in Horizon, The Crisis and Masses and Mainstream, and about two hundred pages that remain unpublished or unidentified.

Scope and content:

Throughout his life Du Bois wrote poetry. Among his notable published efforts were "The Song of the Smoke," "The Christmas Prayers of God," "Suez," and "Ghana Calls."

1803-1964
2.25 linear feetMicrofilm reels 88 - 89

Genealogical records include vital, military, financial, and land records; lists of relatives and important family dates, two diaries (1856 and 1861) of Du Bois' paternal grandfather Alexander Du Bois; and correspondence of his (1875 and 1878). There are manuscript and printed materials from Du Bois' years at Great Barrington High School; Fisk University, including his certificates and contracts for teaching in Tennessee in 1886 and 1887; Harvard University; the University of Berlin; and Wilberforce and Atlanta University. Also included are brief biographies of Du Bois, bibliographies of his writings, a list of books in his personal library, and a typed transcription of an unpublished oral history interview with Du Bois by William Ingersoll in 1960. Works by others include Shirley Graham Du Bois' notes and fragments of speeches for the legal defense of Du Bois in 1951; six poems by Yolande Du Bois; manuscript speeches and published articles by one of Du Bois' assistants, Hugh Smythe; handwritten and typed articles and speeches by others; and printed materials dealing in the main with the status, education, and economics of Blacks.

1864-1963
2.5 linear feetMicrofilm reel 89

Arrangement:

The photographs are arranged in three groups.

Scope and content:

First are several hundred photographs that Du Bois solicited for publication in The Crisis: photographs of Black children, Black recipients of college degrees and honors, and Blacks in important positions. This series of photographs published in The Crisis is Du Bois' contribution to, and probably the initiation of, the marshaling of evidence that "Black is beautiful." Almost all of the photographs are identified on the backs and in the Selective Item List in the finding aid. The second group is just under two hundred Du Bois family and personal photographs, including one album arranged in roughly chronological order. Some of the most-photographed trips and other events in Du Bois' life have been arranged, together with photographs on other specific topics, among the approximately three hundred photographs in the third group, "Theme" photographs.

1913-1963
0.5 linear feetMicrofilm reel 89

This series comprises medals, badges, and certificates of honorary and earned degrees and other awards and honors. There are nearly one hundred items, ranging from class reunion badges to the Spingarn Medal won by Du Bois in 1920, the Du Bois Medal created in his honor by the American Negro Commemorative Society, the Lenin Medal, and certificates of election to Phi Beta Kappa, honorary degrees from universities in the United States and abroad, and election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1944.

1958-1979
2.5 linear feet

Motion pictures and videotape copies of Du Bois receiving honorary degree in Prague in 1958 and visiting Premier Chou En-lai, Vice-Premier Chen Yi, Chairman Mao Tse-tung, and others in China in 1959; and of the dedication in 1969 and dedication as a National Historic Landmark in 1979 of Du Bois' homesite in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Audiotapes of the burial service of Du Bois, August 29, 1963 and tribute by Kwame Nkrumah.

1901-1955, n.d.
3 linear feet

The collection of newspaper clippings about Du Bois and subjects of interest to him (currently unorganized).

1870-1983
6 linear feet

Copies of Du Bois materials were obtained by the staff of Special Collections and University Archives from other archival sources and by donation from individuals. Much of the latter was donated by Herbert Aptheker and was used by him in the preparation of his three-volume edition of The Correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois (University of Massachusetts Press). Copies Aptheker furnished usually include a note from him describing the documents and indicating their sources. Types of materials in this series are: correspondence; U.S.government files; manuscripts and transcripts by Du Bois of speeches, articles, student papers and plays; transcripts of conversations; town records; microfilm copies of papers in other collections, of journals to which Du Bois contributed, and of exhibition materials compiled by Du Bois; published material by Du Bois not in the collection; articles about Du Bois; bibliographies; and guides to Du Bois materials in other collections.

1969-1984
0.75 linear feet

The miscellaneous materials consist of: publicity about the papers, the homesite, W.E.B. Du Bois Day and Black History Month in Massachusetts, 1984; audiotapes of lectures by Herbert Aptheker on Du Bois and of a National Public Radio broadcast, "A Question of Place"; a Crisis anniversary issue; and other printed and videotaped material.

1890-1963
3.25 linear feet

Some original Du Bois materials have been added to the collection since the microfilming of the papers. These materials include: correspondence; manuscripts; speeches; photographs and copies of documents from the University of Berlin; mementos; an unbound copy of Notre Beau Niger (first chapter missing); and six boxes of FBI files on Du Bois, the Council on African Affairs, and the Peace Information Center, requested by the Library under the Freedom of Information Act.


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Pan-Africanism
  • African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- Sources
  • African Americans -- History -- 1877-1964 -- Sources
  • Crisis (New York, N.Y.)
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963 -- Correspondence
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963 -- Views on democracy -- Sources
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • United States -- Race relations -- Sources

Contributors
  • McDonnell, Robert W.
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People


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