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Terrell Main Library

10am - 4pm

Circulation Desk

10am - 4pm

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Terrell Library Scholar Studies and A-Level


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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 2500 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 pamphlet with slaves looking up at her
Engraving of slave auction in new orleans with men at podiums, slaves on display, with many people in a large rotunda

Contents include: 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. There are 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 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 slaves, manumission papers, and artifacts such as slave shackles.

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