January 19, 2022

University of Arkansas Libraries Contributes Arkansas African American History to Umbra Digital History Platform

From U. of Arkansas Libraries:

University of Arkansas Libraries is pleased to announce the contribution of 2,392 items to a digital discovery tool, Umbra: Search African American History.

Umbra is a free digital platform that brings together historical content from archives, libraries, and museums using partnerships, open data, and technology.  The project documents African American history and culture, making the material widely available to new researchers and artists.

As a contributing institution, University Libraries joins the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, Digital Public Library of America, and over 500 academic and research libraries from around the country working to preserve and make this history freely available.


The digital platform pays homage to the Umbra Society of the early 1960s, a renegade group of Black writers and poets who helped create the Black Arts Movement. In that same spirit, Umbra celebrates the efforts of the individuals and institutions that have helped to preserve and make accessible online hundreds of thousands of pieces of African American history and culture.


Umbra is developed by the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota Libraries in partnership with Penumbra Theatre Company. It is made possible by support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Learn More About the U. of Arkansas Libraries Contribution

Direct to Umbra

Currently, over 400,000 digital items are made available from over 500 institutions.

Umbra is currently a beta release.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.