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Booker T. Washington: Online Resources

Compiled by Angela McMillian, Digital Reference Specialist

Booker T. Washington, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing front. Booker T. Washington, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing front.
1 photographic print.
[between 1880 and 1890]
Photograph possibly by Harry Shepherd.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with Booker T. Washington, including manuscripts, photographs, and books. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to Booker T. Washington that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on Booker T. Washington and a bibliography containing selected works for both general and younger readers.

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

Digital Collections

African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907

The collection presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost one hundred years from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900. Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummell, and Emanuel Love. The collection contains the full text of Washington's Atlanta Address. The special presentation Progress of a People includes a biography of Booker T. Washington.

An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The collection comprises 28,000 primary source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompassing key events and eras in American history. Search the full-text option to find items related to Booker T. Washington, including Booker T. Washington by R. V. Randolph.

Detroit Publishing Company

The collection includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States. The collection contains an image of Booker T. Washington's residence at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909

The collection consists of 397 pamphlets, published from 1824 through 1909, by African-American authors and others who wrote about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics. The materials range from personal accounts and public orations to organizational reports and legislative speeches. Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Kelly Miller, Charles Sumner, Mary Church Terrell, and Booker T. Washington.

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

These collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies.

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929

This collection assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this transition. The collection contains fifteen items that document the National Negro Business League founded by Booker. T. Washington.

Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

In honor of the Manuscript Division's centennial, its staff selected approximately ninety representative documents for online display spanning the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The collection includes the draft of Langston Hughes' poem "Ballad of Booker T."

America's Library

Explore the States

Tuskegee University, Alabama

Jump Back in Time

Paul Laurence Dunbar Was Born, June 27, 1872
[Dunbar wrote a letter to Booker T. Washington on June 23, 1902]

Booker T. Washington Speaks at the Cotton States and International Exposition,
September 18, 1895

Meet Amazing Americans

Andrew Carnegie, Philanthropist
[Andrew Carnegie is pictured with Booker T. Washington and others at Tuskegee Institute]

George Washington Carver
[Carver taught agriculture at Tuskegee Institute]

Langston Hughes, Man of the People
[Hughes wrote the poem "Ballad of Booker T."]


The African-American Mosaic: African-American Culture and History

This exhibit marks the publication of The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. Covering the nearly 500 years of the black experience in the Western hemisphere, this resource surveys the full range, size, and variety of the Library's collections, including books, periodicals, prints, photographs, music, film, and recorded sound. The colonization section of the exhibit includes a photograph and letter pertaining to the Booker T. Washington Institute at Kakata, Liberia, that was founded in honor of Booker T. Washington.

African-American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

This exhibition showcases the incomparable African American collections of the Library of Congress. It displays more than 240 items, including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings. It includes a section on the Booker T. Washington Era.

Manuscript Division

Manuscript Division Finding Aids Online

Access the finding aid for the papers of Booker T. Washington in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Serial & Government Publications Division

Topics in Chronicling America

Chronicling America provides free access to millions of historic American newspaper pages. The Serial & Government Publications Division has created topic guides to newspapers in Chronicling America. Included on the topics page is a guide for Booker T. Washington.

Prints and Photographs Division

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC using the subject heading Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915 to find digital images related to Washington.

Special Presentation

African American History Month Portal

In celebration of African-American History Month, this Web site highlights the many resources on African-American history and culture available from our extensive online collections.

Teachers Page

Features and Activities

From Slavery to Civil Rights: A Timeline of African-American History

Use this interactive timeline-based activity to introduce the topic of African-American history through primary sources.

Lesson Plans

African American Identity in the Gilded Age: Two Unreconciled Strivings

Students examine the tension experienced by African Americans as they struggled to establish a vibrant and meaningful identity based on the promises of liberty and equality in the midst of a society that was ambivalent towards them and sought to impose an inferior definition upon them.

Segregation: From Jim Crow To Linda Brown

Students explore the era of legalized segregation. This lesson provides a foundation for a more meaningful understanding of the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Today in History

March 5, 1770

Late in the afternoon of March 5, 1770, British sentries guarding the Boston Customs House shot into a crowd of civilians killing three and injuring eight others, two of them mortally. Surrounded by jeering Bostonians slinging hard-packed snowballs, the small group of soldiers lost control when one of their number was struck. They fired despite explicit orders to the contrary.

In the nineteenth century, Crispus Attucks served as an important symbol of the patriotism and military valor of the African-American people. "When in 1776 the Negro was asked to decide between British oppression and American independence," renowned educator Booker T. Washington observed in an 1898 address, "we find him choosing the better part and Crispus Attucks, a Negro, was the first to shed his blood on State street, Boston, that the white American might enjoy liberty forever, though his race remained in slavery."

June 27, 1872

Paul Laurence Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872, in Dayton, Ohio. Although he died when he was only thirty-three, Dunbar had achieved international acclaim as a poet, short story writer, novelist, dramatist, and lyricist.

In 1902, Booker T. Washington commissioned Dunbar to write the school song for the Tuskegee Institute. Dunbar wrote lyrics to the tune of "Fair Harvard." Washington was not pleased with the "Tuskegee Song." He objected to Dunbar's emphasis on "the industrial idea," and the exclusion of biblical references. In this letter to Washington, Dunbar defends his work.

September 18, 1895

On September 18, 1895, Booker T. Washington delivered his famous "Atlanta Compromise" speech at the opening of the Cotton States and International Exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia. Washington, the founder and president of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, was the first African-American man ever to address a racially-mixed Southern audience.

February 1, 1902

Poet and writer Langston Hughes, famous for his elucidations of black American life in his poems, stories, autobiographies, and histories, was born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, 1902.

Words and Deeds in American History features drafts of Langston Hughes's poem, "The Ballad of Booker T." In this 1941 poem Hughes writes sympathetically of educator Booker T. Washington, whose reputation remains a subject of controversy and debate.

Virtual Programs and Services

Web Guides produced by the Digital Reference Section of the Library of Congress

African-American Sites in the Digital Collections

This guide highlights contributions by African Americans to the arts, education, industry, literature, politics and much more as represented in the vast online collections of the Library. Booker T. Washington is included in the Progressive Era to the New Era section.

Civil Rights Resource Guide

This guide compiles links to civil rights resources throughout the Library of Congress Web site and beyond.

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

African-American Sheet Music, from Brown University Library Center for Digital Scholarship

The sheet music in this digital collection has been selected from the Sheet Music Collection at the John Hay Library at Brown University. The full collection consists of approximately 500,000 items, of which perhaps 250,000 are currently available for use.

Booker T. Washington National Monument, from the National Park Service

The Booker T. Washington National Monument commemorates the birthplace of America's most prominent African-American educator and orator of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Cornell University Library Making of America Collection

The Cornell University Library Making of America Collection is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. Included in the collection are:

Documenting the American South, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. The collection includes several titles by Booker T. Washington, including An Autobiography: The Story of My Life and Work.

Earliest Voices, from the Vincent Voice Library

The site includes images of Booker T. Washington, a brief biography of Washington, and an audio recording of the Atlanta Exposition Address.

Legends of Tuskegee: Booker T. Washington, George W. Carver, and the Tuskegee Airmen Web Exhibit, from the National Park Service Museum Management Program

This three-part Web exhibit highlights the achievements of Washington, Carver, and the Tuskegee Airmen. It features collections at Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site located in Tuskegee, Alabama, and selected items from the Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy, Virginia, and the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri.

Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century, from the Iowa Digital Library

This collection presents 7,949 publicity brochures, promotional advertisements, and talent circulars for some 4,546 performers who were part of the Chautauqua circuit. The collection includes three items pertaining to Booker T. Washington.

Selected Works by Booker T. Washington

Andrews, William L., ed. Up from Slavery. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 A3 1995 [Catalog Record]

Harlan, Louis R., ed. The Booker T. Washington Papers. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1972.
LC Call Number: E185.97 .W274 [Catalog Record]

Selected Biographies and other Studies of Washington

Hwang, Hae-sung. Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois: A Study in Race Leadership, 1895-1915. Seoul: American Studies Institute, Seoul National University, 1992.
LC Call Number: E185.61 .H99 1992 [Catalog Record]

Moore, Jacqueline M. Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and the Struggle for Racial Uplift. Wilmington, N.C.: Scholarly Resources, 2003.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 M66 2003 [Catalog Record]

Neyland, James. Booker T. Washington. Los Angeles: Melrose Square, 1992.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 N49 1992 [Catalog Record]

Perry, John. Unshakable Faith: Booker T. Washington & George Washington Carver: A Biography. Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah, 1999.
LC Call Number: E185.96 .P378 1999 [Catalog Record]

Younger Readers

Frost, Helen. Let's Meet Booker T. Washington. Philadelphia: Chelsea Clubhouse, 2004.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 F76 2004 [Catalog Record]

McKissack, Pat. Booker T. Washington: Leader and Educator. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow, 2001.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 M33 2001 [Catalog Record]

McLoone, Margo. Booker T. Washington: A Photo-Illustrated Biography. Mankato, Minn.: Bridgestone Press, 1997.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 M35 1997 [Catalog Record]

Roberts, Jack L. Booker T. Washington: Educator and Leader. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 1995.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 R63 1995 [Catalog Record]

Taylor-Butler, Christine. Booker T. Washington. New York: Children's Press, 2007.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 T395 2007 [Catalog Record]

Thoennes Keller, Kristin. Booker T. Washington: Innovative Educator. Minneapolis, Minn.: Compass Point Books, 2007.
LC Call Number: E185.97.W4 T47 2007 [Catalog Record]

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  April 27, 2017
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