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African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920: Selected from the Collections of Brown University

The indefatigable Library of Congress American Memory collection has expanded yet again with these a new exhibit. This site contains 1,305 pieces of African-American sheet music dating from 1850 through 1920. The pieces span from the antebellum black face minstrelsy of the 1850s to the Civil War to Reconstruction to the early period of urbanization and the northern migration of African Americans. As the site notes, "unlike many other sorts of published works, sheet music can be produced rapidly in response to an event or public interest, and thus is a source of relatively unmediated and unrevised perspectives on quickly changing events and public attitudes. Particularly significant in this collection are the visual depictions of African Americans which provide much information about racial attitudes over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." Users can search the collection by keyword or browse by subject, name, or title. The site also offers a special presentation, The Development of an African-American Musical Theatre 1865-1910.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
October 1st, 1999
Date Of Record Creation
April 7th, 2003 at 11:38am
Date Of Record Release
April 7th, 2003 at 11:38am
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