About the Collection
This multidisciplinary collection includes books, magazines, photographs, manuscripts, sheet music, postcards, record albums, and artifacts of the African experience in the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, and Africa, dating from 1632 to the present. The collection is located on the 3rd Floor of West Pattee and has limited hours, however, materials from the collection can be accessed in the Special Collections Library during open hours:
- Monday — 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Thursday — 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Friday — 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Other hours by appointment (814.867.2573) or request a tour.
Areas of research in the Blockson Collection include, but are certainly not limited to, the following highlights:
- The African Diaspora
- Autobiographies and Memoirs
- Children and young adults' literature
- Civil Rights and Black Power
- Discovery, exploration and travel narratives
- Sheet music
- Women's Literature
- Josephine Baker Collection
- Paul Robeson Collection
- Sculpture Collection
How to Search the Collection
Since the materials in this collection are all books, everything is cataloged and the Libraries' catalog can be used to search for items. To search The CAT select “Advanced Search.” There are three ways to search for topics:
- Choose the “Keyword Search” and type in a keyword and “Blockson.” For instance, “Civil Rights and Blockson” or “Africa and Blockson;” or
- Choose a keyword option (author, title, subject, etc.) and then, from the dropdown menu “In Library,” choose “Special Collections Library;” or
- Click on "Advanced Search" and select “Special Collections” in the “In Library” box, choose “Rare Books & Mss, Blockson Collection” or “Blockson Collection Vault” in the "Location" box, and type your keyword search terms. [Clicking the “Search” button with no search terms will bring up a complete list of the Blockson Collection holdings as unsorted titles.]
- Charles L. Blockson collection on Josephine Baker, 1928-2003
- Charles L. Blockson collection of postcards and related materials, 1919-2000
Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.