The Next Page in African American Literary Studies

With a $1.7 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, the Black Bibliography Project continues to advance the field of African American print culture studies.

While the study of African American literature has flourished over the past few decades, a general decline in the practice of descriptive bibliography—the systemic study of books as physical objects—over the last century has left scholars with a dearth of resources about the production and circulation of African American texts.

Co-directed by Yale’s Jacqueline Goldsby and Meredith McGill of Rutgers University, the Black Bibliography Project (BBP) aims to revive and transform descriptive bibliography for African American and Black Diaspora literary studies. Together, Goldsby, McGill, and a large team of librarians, curators, and graduate students are building a digital database that will offer scholars new pathways for understanding the history, social formations, and aesthetic practices of Black print culture.

The grant from the Mellon Foundation will support the project through 2025 as Goldsby and McGill take the BBP to scale and establish partnerships with libraries and archives across the nation.

Read more about the Black Bibliography Project.

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