Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers >> Virtual Programs & Services
Web Guides (Virtual Services, Digital Reference Section)
  Home >> Frederick Douglass: Online Resources

Frederick Douglass: Online Resources

Compiled by Angela McMillian, Digital Reference Specialist

Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass.
1 negative: glass, wet collodion.
[between 1865 and 1880]
Brady-Handy Photograph Collection.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

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

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

Digital Collections

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The special presentations for the collection include a Timeline, Douglass in His Own Words, and a Family Tree.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

Search by keywords to find additional documents in Douglass's papers.

Additonal Digital Collections

Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consist of approximately 20,000 documents which include incoming and outgoing correspondence and enclosures, drafts of speeches, notes, and printed material. Search the collection on Frederick Douglass to locate items including Frederick Douglass to Abraham Lincoln, Monday, August 29, 1864 (Plan for helping slaves escape from rebel states).

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 Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana

Alfred Whital Stern (1881-1960) of Chicago presented his outstanding collection of Lincolniana to the Library of Congress in 1953. Begun by Mr. Stern in the 1920s, the collection documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics. The collection includes the Frederick Douglass Funeral March by N. Clark Smithe.

The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600 to 1925

The collection comprises 139 books on Washington, D.C. and the Chesapeake Bay region including first-person narratives, early histories, historical biographies, promotional brochures, and books of photographs that capture in words and pictures a distinctive region as it developed between the onset of European settlement and the first quarter of the twentieth century. Browse the collection by contributor to locate two items for Frederick Douglass.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress comprise a rich documentary history of the construction of the nation, the development of the federal government, and its role in national life. Search all titles on Frederick Douglass to locate six items.

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. Browse the author index to locate four items for Frederick Douglass.

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

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies.

National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection

The NAWSA Collection consists of 167 books, pamphlets and other artifacts documenting the suffrage campaign. Search the collection to find items that mention Frederick Douglass.

Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The collection is a rich repository of Americana. In total, 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 collection to locate items related to Frederick Douglass, including Civil Rights Bill and West Point Academy. Letter from Gerrit Smith to Frederick Douglass. Peterboro, June 27th, 1874.

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

Included are the papers of presidents, cabinet ministers, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, military officers and diplomats, reformers and political activists, artists and writers, scientists and inventors, and other prominent Americans whose lives reflect our country's evolution.

America's Library

Jump Back in Time

Frederick Douglass' Delivered Speech on Haiti at the World's Fair, January 2, 1893

Meet Amazing Americans

Frederick Douglass

Designed for elementary and middle-school students, America's Library provides a variety of stories about Frederick Douglass, including Douglass's Escape from Slavery, Frederick Douglass--Abolitionist Leader, and Douglass's Role in the Civil War.


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, the exhibit surveys the full range and variety of the Library's collections, including books, periodicals, prints, photographs, music, film, and recorded sound. The prominent Abolitionists section mentions Frederick Douglass and the North Star, the newspaper that he published.

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.

Examples of materials by Frederick Douglass include:

American Treasures of the Library of Congress

American Treasures of the Library of Congress is an unprecedented exhibition of the rarest, most interesting or significant items relating to America's past, drawn from every corner of the world's largest library. The exhibition includes the North Star.

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British-American Relations

A joint project of the Library of Congress and the British Library, the John Bull and Uncle Sam exhibition brings together for the first time treasures from the two greatest libraries in the English-speaking world. The exhibit is an exploration of selected time periods and cultural movements that provide unique insights into the relationship of the United States and Great Britain. The From Abolition to Equal Rights section is a Draft Copy of Farewell Address Given upon Leaving England by Frederick Douglass.

Historic Newspapers

Chronicling America

This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1860-1922 from the following states: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. Search this collection to find newspaper articles pertaining to Frederick Douglass.

A selection of articles on Frederick Douglass includes:

Manuscript Division

Manuscript Division Finding Aids Online

Access the finding aid for the papers of Frederick Douglass and the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Prints and Photographs Division

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC using the subject heading Douglass, Frederick,--1818-1895 to find digital images related to Douglass.

Special Presentation

African-American History Month Portal

In celebration of African-American History Month, the Library developed this Web site highlighting 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 time line-based activity to introduce the topic of African-American history through primary sources. The abolition section includes the Lecture on John Brown by Frederick Douglass.


This feature presentation introduces teachers and students to the topic of immigration. Frederick Douglass is mentioned in the Resistance and Abolition section of the presentation.

Lesson Plans

To Kill a Mockingbird: A Historical Perspective

Students gain a sense of the living history that surrounds the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Through studying primary source materials from American Memory and other online resources, students of all backgrounds may better grasp how historical events and human forces have shaped relationships between black and white and rich and poor cultures of our country.

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.

Today in History

September 3

On September 3, 1838, abolitionist, journalist, author, and human rights advocate Frederick Douglass made his dramatic escape from slavery, traveling north by train and boat, from Baltimore, through Delaware to Philadelphia. That same night he took a train to New York, where he arrived the following morning.

October 16

Late on the night of October 16, 1859, John Brown and twenty-one armed followers stole into the town of Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) as most of its residents slept.

Fellow abolitionist Frederick Douglass recognized in Brown an unparallelled devotion, "I could live for the slave, but he could die for him." Brown had lost two sons in the raid. Another son had already sacrificed his life for the anti-slavery cause in the Osawatomie raid.

April 16

On April 16, 1862, President Lincoln signed an act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, an important step in the long road toward full emancipation and enfranchisement for African Americans.

Twenty-one years later, on April 16, 1883, Frederick Douglass spoke at a commemoration of abolition in the District.

January 2

On January 2, 1893, Frederick Douglass delivered an address at the dedication of the Haitian Pavilion at the World's Columbian Exposition located in Jackson Park in Chicago. Douglass, a prominent writer, abolitionist, and publisher of the North Star, spent the years 1889 to 1891 in Haiti serving the Benjamin Harrison Administration as United States minister and general consul.

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. Frederick Douglass is included in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era section.

Slavery Resource Guide

This guide provides links to resources for slavery and a bibliography containing selected works for both general and younger readers.

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery, from PBS

The Africans in America Web site is a companion to Africans in America, a six-hour public television series. The site examines the economic and intellectual foundations of slavery in America and the global economy that prospered from it. The site includes a brief biography of Frederick Douglass, a photograph of Douglass, and the historical document "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro."

American Visionaries; Frederick Douglass, Online Exhibit, from the National Park Service

The exhibit features items owned by Frederick Douglass and highlights his achievements. The items are in the museum and archival collections at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site at Cedar Hill, Southeast Washington, DC.

The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925

The collection of documents brought together in this project begins to tell the story of the growth of Protestant religion among African Americans during the nineteenth century, and of the birth of what came to be known as the "Black Church" in the United States.

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.

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. Currently DocSouth includes twelve thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs. The collection includes several titles by Frederick Douglass including, the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, from the National Park Service

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is dedicated to preserving the legacy of this famous African American.

Selected Works by Frederick Douglass

Blassingame, John W., et al., eds. The Frederick Douglass Papers. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
LC Call Number: E449 .D734 1999 [Catalog Record]

Foner, Philip S., ed. Frederick Douglass on Slavery and the Civil War: Selections from His Writings. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2003.
LC Call Number: E449 .D737 2003 [Catalog Record]

----. Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1999.
LC Call Number: E449 .D7345 1999 [Catalog Record]

Gilder Lehrman Collection (Pierpont Morgan Library). Admiration & Ambivalence: Frederick Douglass and John Brown: A Manuscript from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. New York: Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 2005.
LC Call Number: E449 .D7315 2005 [Catalog Record]

Gomes, Peter J. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. New York: Signet Classics, 2005.
LC Call Number: E449 .D749 2005 [Catalog Record]

Logan, Rayford W. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: His Early Life as a Slave, His Escape from Bondage, and His Complete History. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2003.
LC Call Number: E449 .D7382 2003 [Catalog Record]

Seno, William J., ed. Standing with the Slave: Excerpts from Memoirs, Speeches, and Articles. Madison, WI: Round River, 1998.
LC Call Number: E449 .D7494 1998 [Catalog Record]

Wright, John S. My Bondage and My Freedom. New York: Washington Square, 2003.
LC Call Number: E449 .D738 2003d [Catalog Record]

Selected Biographies and other Studies of Douglass

McKivigan, John R., ed. Frederick Douglass. San Diego: Greenhaven, 2004.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 F736 2004 [Catalog Record]

Oakes, James. The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics. New York: W. W. Norton, 2007.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 O15 2007 [Catalog Record]

Phillips, Rachael. Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist and Reformer. Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour, 2000.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 P57 2000b [Catalog Record]

Russell, Sharman Apt. Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist Editor. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2005.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 R875 2004 [Catalog Record]

Waldo, E. Martin. The Mind of Frederick Douglass. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 M37 1984 [Catalog Record]

Wu, Jin-Ping. Frederick Douglass and the Black Liberation Movement: The North Star of American Blacks. New York: Garland, 2000.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 W85 2000 [Catalog Record]

Younger Readers

Fleming, Alice Mulcahey. Frederick Douglass: From Slave to Statesman. New York: PowerPlus Books, 2004.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 F57 2004 [Catalog Record]

Haugen, Brenda. Frederick Douglass: Slave, Writer, Abolitionist. Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2005.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 H38 2005 [Catalog Record]

McKissack, Pat. Frederick Douglass: Leader Against Slavery. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2002.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 M378 2001 [Catalog Record]

Myers, Elisabeth P. Frederick Douglass: Young Defender of Human Rights. Carmel, IN: Patria, 2007.
LC Call Number: E449.D768 M94 2007 [Catalog Record]

Ruffin, Frances E. Frederick Douglass: A Powerful Voice for Freedom. New York: Sterling, 2008.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 R84 2008 [Catalog Record]

Wilson, Camilla. Frederick Douglass: A Voice for Freedom in the 1800s. New York: Scholastic, 2003.
LC Call Number: E449.D75 W555 2003 [Catalog Record]

Yancey, Diane. Frederick Douglass. Heroes and Villains. San Diego: Lucent Books, 2003.
LC Call Number: E449.D95 Y36 2003 [Catalog Record]

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Frederick Douglass: Online Resources
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  January 30, 2018
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us