Founded in 1941 by Carl Van Vechten, this collection stands as a memorial to Dr. James Weldon Johnson and celebrates the accomplishments of African American writers and artists. Grace Nail Johnson contributed her husband’s papers, leading the way for gifts of papers from Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Walter White and Poppy Cannon White, Dorothy Peterson, Chester Himes, and Langston Hughes. The collection also contains the papers of Richard Wright and Jean Toomer, as well as manuscripts or correspondence of such writers as Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Wallace Thurman.

African American Studies at Beinecke Library News

African American Women Writers: A Top Ten List
November 11, 2017
POETRY READING: Rickey Laurentiis and Ocean Vuong
October 20, 2017
New Scholarship: Travis Scholl on "Essay and Archive"
October 16, 2017
Daphne Brooks's Protest Music in America, AFAM 055 / AMST 026 / THST 096
September 27, 2017
American Literature in the World Conference: CFP
September 26, 2017
New Student Research by Kelsea Jeon
August 30, 2017
Student Scholars - Tell Us about your Research
July 29, 2017
Centennial of the 1917 Negro Silent Protest Parade
July 26, 2017
Open for Research: Rudolph Dunbar Papers
July 24, 2017
New Scholarship: Chicago Renaissance By Liesl Olson
July 24, 2017
Open for Research: Leviticus Lyon Papers
July 24, 2017
On Langston Hughes: Research from Beinecke Collections
July 21, 2017
New Scholarship: Oleynick on The Conversion of Claude McKay
July 9, 2017
Tell Us about Your Research
June 27, 2017
Description of a Slave Ship
June 25, 2017
New Scholarship: Hilton Als on "Alice Neel, Uptown"
February 28, 2017
YCAL-JWJ Ready Reference
February 22, 2017
Poerty Reading: Tonya Foster, Layli Long Soldier, & Safiya Sinclair
February 3, 2017
Yusef Komunyakaa Reading, 2-23, 4:00 PM
February 3, 2017
Emily Bernard on Carl Van Vechten
January 26, 2017
On Language and the Appearance of Carl Van Vechten's Novel in Gather Out of Star-Dust
January 20, 2017
Advocacy, Protest, Resistance: A Beinecke Top Ten List
December 7, 2016
Beinecke Top Tens: Great American Novels in Context
November 17, 2016
Fred Moten Poetry Reading 11-30
November 11, 2016
Congratulations to Lucy Caplan, Winner of the Rubin Prize in Music Criticism
November 2, 2016
James Baldwin Manuscript Holdings
October 25, 2016
New Scholarship: “Making the American Syllabus"
October 24, 2016
Rare, Un-catalogued Slavery Pamphlet Discovered in Beinecke’s Collections
October 19, 2016
Blackface Minstrelsy and the Politics of Power
October 7, 2016
Destined to Be Known: The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at 75
October 3, 2016
Exhibition Opening Celebration
September 22, 2016
Congratulations to Cave Canem
September 20, 2016
Destined to Be Known: The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at 75
September 20, 2016
September 18, 2016
Elizabeth Alexander Reading at Beinecke Library
September 12, 2016
What Would Carl Van Vechten Tweet?
September 9, 2016
In Memoriam: Michael S. Harper
May 17, 2016
Austin Reed's Manuscript and Others
March 3, 2016
Celebrating Robert B. Stepto
October 14, 2015
New Scholarship: Picture Freedom
April 22, 2015
Casting Shadows Performance
April 9, 2015
Nathaniel Mackey at Yale
March 9, 2015
New Scholarship: Johnson's "Autobiography"
March 2, 2015
New Scholarship: Langston Hughes Letters
February 26, 2015
Nathaniel Mackey Awarded 2015 Bollingen Prize
February 2, 2015
Cabin in the Sky
January 14, 2015
January 14, 2015
Happy New Year--2014 Publications
December 23, 2014