African American Biographical Database

Monday, September 7, 2020

The Government and Heritage Library (GHL) subscribes and offers access to the African American Biographical Database for our patrons.  

Database website landing page featuring a graphic and website navigation links

The African American Biographical Database (AABD) is the largest electronic collection of biographical information, including photographs and illustrations, on African Americans (1790-1950) with over 40,000 entries from over 290 titles. The database has been fully digitized so that in addition to searching for specific biographic sketches, you have direct access to a rich collection of African American reference works, many of which are rare books. 

How can I use this database?  

  • Find fascinating accounts of life as a slave, religious leader in the American South, reformer, or business-person in 19th century America.  
  • Verify names or birth records of family members for a genealogical search. 
  • Locate historic photographs or illustrations. 
  • Discover geographic and familial links vital to genealogical research. 
  • Experience the personal meaning of social transformation from slavery through emancipation, war and depression. 
  • Explore the history of local Black elites from Baltimore to Seattle. 
  • Collect information for a book, paper, or other scholarly endeavors. 
  • Research the Abolitionist movement, growth of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and many other political movements and organizations. 

How do I access this database?  

All GHL patrons with a GHL library card can access the African American Biographical Database using an ID and password. This database can be accessed on our Online Databases and Resources webpage. Please explore this and other offered databases and provide your valuable feedback.  

Other Online Databases Offered 

The Government and Heritage Library subscribes to several online databases, many of which are available outside the library with your library card. These online databases can be found on our Online Databases & Resources page. We also provide access to databases available from NC LIVE.  You may also search the library's classic catalog, or Search Everything, our new option to search books, online resources, and more in one search box.  

Jennifer Blomberg, Collection Unit Manager