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Mary Church Terrell Main Library
148 W College St. Oberlin, OH 44074-1545


The main visitor lot is the east Service Building lot, and the south row of the Carnegie Building lot for visitors to offices within that building.

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About the Collection

The Anti-Slavery Collection at Oberlin College Library is a nationally significant collection of value to researchers of American anti-slavery movements as well as the history of Oberlin. 

The Anti-Slavery Collection consists of around 2,500 printed titles (many are multi-volume) most of which have been cataloged and can be searched using the online catalog.

Engraving of a woman holding a book with slaves looking up at her. Meant to symbolize the power of the press.

Power of the Press

Engraving of slave auction in new orleans with men at podiums, slaves on display, with many people in a large rotunda.

The Anti-slavery Collection includes: Anti-slavery societies' documents such as annual reports, addresses, and publications; books, pamphlets, and other documents outlining the moral, religious, economic, and legal aspects of the slavery debate; travelers' observations of slavery; slave narratives - autobiographical, biographical, and fictional; and biographies of leaders of the anti-slavery movement. There are numerous newspapers and periodicals, including The Abolitionist, The American Anti-Slavery ReporterThe Emancipator and Republican, The Gerrit Smith BannerThe LiberatorLiberty, and many others.

There are also political works, including documents related to the Missouri Compromise, the Fugitive Slave Law, the Kansas-Nebraska Controversy, party propaganda, and speeches made in and out of Congress. There are books for children; poetry, songs, anthologies, and gift books. There is some pro-slavery literature as well. The collection includes ephemera, including manuscript bills of sale for enslaved people, manumission papers, and artifacts including shackles and other memorabilie collected by abolitionists from Oberlin on trips to the South after the Civil War.

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