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African American Studies Resource Guide: Freedmen's Bureau and Freedmans Bank Records

This guide provides selected information resources in support of BLKST / HST- 469: 'African American Life-Slave & Free.' These resources include both those useful to the study of historical events and those appropriate for researching current issues.

Books: Online and/or Microtext

Contemporaneous Newspaper Coverage

The Freedmen's Bureau, 1865-1872.

One of the websites below, the Open Library, has digitized a small selection of the National Archive's microfilms of the Freedmen's Bureau records. In practice, this means for example that while the National Archives holds 23 rolls of microfilm for the Freedmen's Bureau Field Office records from the state of Arkansas, the Open Library only contains two digitized rolls (#7 and #17). Therefore, it is useful when choosing amongst what is available online, to look at the National Archives' (lengthy) descriptions and contents of those films. The descriptions put the records in context with the events of the Reconstruction era, and the contents of the reels/rolls broadly identify the type of record contained on that roll. This will help the user have a better idea, in advance, of what types of records they are scrolling through. Note: the image quality is dependent on the quality of the original record. It can be helpful to use the single page display, and the magnification features, when available.  NOTE: See the last box on this screen for a list of the digitized microfilm rolls (reels) at the openlibrary.org.

Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874.

  • Africana Archives: Freedmen's Bureau Records