Black Press Archive

Black Press Archives

The Black Press Archives began as a joint project of Howard University and the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA) in 1973. Howard University's Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC) received a $2 Million grant from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation to support the preservation and digitization of the Black Press Archives, a newspaper collection of titles by Black journalists, editors and publishers. The Black Press Archives represents more than 2,000 newspaper titles from the United States, Africa and the African diaspora. It has 2,847 microfilm reels of newspapers, totaling over 100,000 individual issues of newspapers.

The Black Press Archives preserve the rich history of the global Black experience for research and access for years to come through the digitization of our vast newspaper and microfilm collections.One of our main projects since this past September has been to optimize our social media presence. The digitization and creation of a website will not be done overnight, so it is important for everyone following our mission to interact with us in the meantime.


Can I study in the Reading Room as a student without an appointment? 

Yes. The Reading Room will be open as a study space. An appointment is required to view research materials from our collection

Am I required to make an appointment for in person research?

Yes. This will ensure staff can properly prepare for your arrival so you can get the best out of your research experience.  

Do I need to bring anything with me to my research appointment?  

Yes. Please be prepared to show your confirmation email to our Reading Room check-in attendant upon arrival, and ensure you have a student or government ID to show security at the Founders Library main entrance.    

What are your hours for in person research in the MSRC Reading Room? 

The Reading Room will be open for two daily sessions, Monday-Friday, for researchers to access our collection. A morning session (9am-12pm) and an afternoon session (1pm-4pm).   Any time block that falls within a session timeframe permits the patron access to the room during the entire session. For example, if you book for 10 am, you can arrive as early as 9am to conduct your research. 

Where is the Reading Room?  

The Reading Room is located in Founders Library on Howard University's main campus, 500 Howard Place NW,20059. When you enter Founders Library, the Reading Room is at the end of the hallway on the right. 

How can I schedule an in-person appointment? 

You can schedule an appointment by selecting “Schedule Research Appointment” above to get started. 

What information do I need to provide when scheduling an in-person appointment? 

You will need to provide your name, contact information, and any relevant details requested by the scheduling system. 

Can I cancel or reschedule my in-person appointment? 

Yes, you can cancel your appointment by using the cancellation link in your confirmation email and reschedule by cancelling and choosing another time available on the division calendars. Please cancel the appointment as soon as you know you cannot make it to make room for other patrons. 

Are there any fees associated with scheduling appointments? 

Scheduling a research appointment in our Reading Room is free. However, requesting copies of our collections will incur a charge. Please visit the division page you are requesting materials from for details. 

How far in advance can I schedule an in-person appointment?

You will need to schedule appointments two weeks in advance. Check the scheduling system or contact our office at 202-865-8678 for more information.  

Do you offer virtual appointments? 

Yes, some divisions offer virtual research appointments for patrons who would like reference or research assistance. Please visit out team directory to request a virtual consultation with your archivist/librarian of choice.  

What do I do if I encounter technical issues while scheduling online? 

If you experience technical difficulties, please reach out to our support desk at 202-865-8678. Provide details about the issue so that we can help you troubleshoot. 

Can I schedule appointments for multiple people in one session?

Appointment timeslots are reservations for individual patrons only. If there are other members in your party, each person will need to request a timeslot within the same session. 

MSRC At 50 Symposium

In 2023 MSRC celebrated 50 years as a research center! On November 15th we welcomed former directors, staff and students to celebrate the milestone in MSRC history. At the MSRC At 50 Symposium Part One MSRC Black Press Archives Senior Project Manager, Brandon Nightingale led a conversation with Dr. Clint Wilson. The event included an oral history interview with Dr.Wilson on the present state and future of the Black Press.⁠ Dr. Wilson is a former professor of Journalism at the Howard University School of Communications and also the recipient of the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri. The discussion opened up with presentations from MSRC Black Press Archives staff Cameron Evans and Olawale Dupeolu Kuponipe. 

Oral History Interview with Dr. Clint Wilson