Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection

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The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection was donated to Temple University in 1984. A group of educators and librarians from Temple University led by Dr. Lawrence D. Reddick of the History Department visited renowned historian, author and bibliophile, Charles L. Blockson. They understood the uniqueness of his collection and its importance to the university, where materials related to the Black experience were limited.

  • Charles L. Blockson chose Temple University to house his collection because of the university's diverse student body and its location in the heart of the African American community in North Philadelphia. Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley region were home to the largest free Black population prior to the Civil War. Mr. Blockson's extensive knowledge of the city, and his own ancestral connections with the Underground Railroad, make the collection particularly rich and unique. (See About The Collection for More)