Document Type


Publication Date



Library and Information Science


From the conference program: "This presentation reviews the preliminary findings of a federally funded, 3-year historical study that explores how segregated Carnegie libraries were used as places of community-making, interaction, and learning for African Americans in the age of Jim Crow. Known then as "Carnegie Negro libraries," these public libraries opened in eight southern states between 1900 and 1925 and were an extension of the well-known library development program funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

"Drawing on archival sources, including newly completed oral history interviews with surviving library users, this presentation explores how these libraries helped foster a sense of community, increase literacy, and encourage academic achievement among African American readers. Focus is given not just to the role of building and space design but also to the nature of borrowing privileges and the relationship between book collections, community identification, and interaction. Historical images, testimony from oral history interviews, and excerpts from surviving book catalogs enhance the presentation."


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.