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Archives Research Center General Research Guide: Book Collections

Identifying and locating primary sources at the Archives Research Center and Beyond

Rare Books



The book holdings in the Archives Research Center include first edition titles, limited printings, autographed, unique and rare publications. The primary focus of the collection is the African American experience. In addition, there are significant holdings on African and Caribbean history, politics, literature, religion, education and art. Included are rare, first edition and out of print books.  The foundation of book holdings is from the Atlanta University Trevor Arnett Library Negro Collection that was established in 1925.  Books from the personal libraries of John Henrik Clarke, Henry P. Slaughter, Clarence Bacote and C. Eric Lincoln among others enrich our collection.  

Library Quick Links

 Semester Research Hours for Summer 2020


Mon. – Thurs. 1pm-5pm
Fri. 1pm-5pm
Sat. Closed
Sun. Closed


*Appointments must be made 24 business hours in advance.





  • Use catalog to locate call number and location "Archives Use Only"
  • All materials in the Archives are housed in closed stacks and can only be viewed in the research room
  • AUC faculty, staff, and students should have a valid AUC ID with RWWL barcode to view books
  •  Visitors may use books with the assistance of Archives staff
  • Books are not circulated, and must be used in reading room with staff present
  • Photocopies are made by staff only
  • Rare Books may not be copied if they are in fragile condition
  • No more than 20% of a book may be photocopied
  • Photocopies are $0.25 per page
  • Payments can be made with credit or debit car

Book Collections Housed in the Archives Research Center 

  • John Henrik Clarke Aricana Book Collection 
  • Dr. Henry Louis Gates Book Collection 
  • Constance Curry Book Collection 
  • Spelman College Dr. Johnetta B. Cole Book Collection 
  • The Spike Lee Collection of Books on Sports 
  • Morehouse College Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Book Collection 
    • Books located in the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection are accessible with Archives Research Center staff approval from 1:00-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

Interlibrary Loan Information & Quick Links


  • Interlibrary Loan requests are separate transactions from materials you check out from the Woodruff Library, and even though you can view them in your My Library Account, you cannot renew them there. You have to log in to your Interlibrary loan account to request renewals
  • You can update the information you supplied on the new user registration form at any time by clicking on the Change User Information link in your Interlibrary loan account
  • To borrow Interlibrary loan items, you must provide us with your institution email and a phone number
  • The ILL Unit cannot borrow textbooks. Other libraries need those textbooks for their students and therefore will not loan them
  • The ILL unit creates searchable PDFs when filling document delivery articles and book chapter requests, making them accessible to our patrons

For more information visit the Interlibrary Loan Libguide