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History, Library and Information Science


From the conference program: "This presentation explores how segregated Carnegie libraries in the south served as places of interaction, learning, and community-making for African Americans in the days of Jim Crow. Known then as “colored Carnegie libraries,” these institutions opened in eight southern states between 1904 and 1924 and were funded by Andrew Carnegie’s library development program of the early twentieth century. Some segregated Carnegie libraries operated for as many as six decades until, by the 1970s, most had been desegregated or permanently closed.

"Based on archival methods as well as newly completed oral history interviews, this presentation begins with a review of how "place" took on special importance for African Americans in the South in the years after Reconstruction and then examine how these libraries helped nurture a sense of community and shared identity among their users."


This presentation is the property of the Roots of Community project at the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Library and Information Science. It has been published for private use and/or research purposes only. Apart from brief excerpts and other fair use applications, it may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the Project Director ( Please call (601) 266-4228 for more information. Images appearing throughout the presentation remain the property of their respective repositories; see the Photo Credits for more information.