Collection History

This digital compilation was developed in support of the NYPL website, "The African American Migration Experience," a sweeping 500-year historical narrative from the transatlantic slave trade to the Western migration, the colonization movement, the Great Migration, and the contemporary immigration of Caribbeans, Haitians, and sub-Saharan Africans.

Related Resources

NYPL. "In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience."(2005) <>

Collection Data

The Military collection documents primarily the military activities of African Americans in the United States armed forces, dating from the American Revolution to the mid-1980s. The collection, which depicts mostly the wartime activities of the United States military and is strongest for the period from World War II (1940s) to the mid-1950s, includes single and group portraits of enlisted personnel and officers; views of battles and troop movements; views of military encampments near battle sites or in foreign lands; and views of military bases and training camps, depicting daily military life and basic training, mainly from the 1940s to the mid-1950s. The U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps are the most represented branches of the armed services. Images from the 1700s, the 1800s, the Korean War and Vietnamese Conflict, and the late-1950s to the 1890s are limited. Images depicting civilians employed in the war industries during World War II are filed separately. There are some depictions of foreign troops, mainly during World War II.
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1860 - 1989 (Approximate)
Library locations
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division
Shelf locator: Sc Photo Military
African Americans
African-American soldiers
African American officers
Military personnel
Physical Description
Gelatin silver prints
Extent: 3531 items (9.9 lin. ft., 39 boxes)
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b13049857
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 75b72d10-c645-012f-1555-58d385a7bc34
157 results found