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AAS: African American Studies

Main guide for resources and information on African American Studies (AAS)

Rare Books and Manuscripts

Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections.

The Mahn Center is the principal repository for rare books, manuscripts, and Ohio University archives material.  The Mahn Center’s mission is to support the education, research, and creative endeavors of the Ohio University community.  Contact staff in Archives & Special Collections to arrange a tour, discuss how to use archival collections, how to work with your class and for help in any archival research.  

Donald and Marian Spencer Endowment for African-American Studies Collections

Recognized as civic leaders in Cincinnati, Ohio, Marion and the late Donald Spencer spent their life together as promoters of civil rights. This endowment continues their legacy by enriching the educational experiences of students and researchers through the acquisition of materials documenting African American history, politics, arts, language, literature, music and culture.

The materials purchased with this endowment are housed in Archives & Special Collections. 

Useful websites for primary research

Claiming an Education: Early Black American Humanists - Athens history

topographic map background, Claiming an Education: Early Black American Humanists

This exhibit explores the growth of the humanities in the community, from the perspective of the Black Americans who first studied and worked in and around Athens County.

Central figures in this exhibit include John Newton Templeton, who in 1828 became the university’s first Black American graduate, and Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn, who was the first Black American woman to graduate, having had to find her own housing in Athens during her stay.