African-American Research Databases

Freedman’s Bank Records

Available in HeritageQuest Online.  For use at any library or from home with a valid Buffalo & Erie County Public Library card number.

The Freedman’s Bank (also known as The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company) was set up in 1865 to benefit those who were freed from enslavement.  Its records may provide connections between family members, connections to locations, and connections to an ancestor’s enslaved life.  The records available in HQ are the Bank’s Signature Registers and may include the following details: name of depositor and account number, place born, place brought up, residence, age, names of family members, name of employer or occupation, military service details, signature, name of the former master, and plantation. Copies of death certificates are sometimes included. If available, they will be located directly after the signature page.

Click here to access a Freedman’s Bank Records User’s Guide.

Ancestry Library Edition

Available in-library only at any B&ECPL location.

Black Studies Center

For use at any library or from home with a valid Buffalo & Erie County Public Library card number.

This database combines three resources for research and teaching in Black Studies: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals, and The Chicago Defender.  It includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspapers, and more.

 African-American History Online

For use at any library or from home with a valid Buffalo & Erie County Public Library card number.

African-American History Online includes thousands of entries, covering the entire breadth of African-American history, from African beginnings through the slave trade and the civil rights movement to the present.  The database is organized into sections:  Biographies, Subject Entries, Primary Sources, Timelines, an Image Gallery, and Maps and Charts.

To access these databases go to the following page, select “Research Databases” and then visit the African-American and Genealogy categories: http://www.buffalolib.org/db/index.asp

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