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Local History, Special Collections, and Genealogy

African American History

Worcester County Library Resources

Several of the Archive Collections include information on African American history in Worcester County. Some of them are

  • WR 26: Worcester High School Yearbook collection

    • The Worcester High School Yearbook collection contains one 1967 yearbook from the Worcester High School. This yearbook includes many black and white photographs of students who attended Worcester High School. Included in the yearbook are photographs of the 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1970 classes. There are also detailed information and photographs of all the clubs offered at Worcester High School.

  • WR 69: Ernestine Bailey Papers
    • The Ernestine Bailey Papers are an assortment of documents pertaining to Black history in Worcester County. This includes information on the founding of Ebenezer Methodist Church, in Snow Hill, Maryland in 1869. Also included are programs from events held at the church, including those of the Worcester County Branch of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People, founded in 1944. Also included are programs and newspaper articles about awards given to Black members of the community from 1992-1993. Also a membership card for the Maryland State Colored Teachers’ Association and Maryland School Bulletin from Lenora Drummond, who went on to become the secretary for the Worcester County NAACP.

The Snow Hill Branch also includes Vertical Files on many topics. Some pertinent topics include

  • African American History
  • Black History
  • Black History- Sandy Grounds- Snow Hill
  • Population- White, Free Blacks, & Slave
  • Snow Hill- Race Relations

These Vertical Files can be viewed in person at the Snow Hill branch.

Local Worcester County People and Places

Our librarians have compiled information on local people and places that are important to Black History in Worcester County. While these were compiled for Black History Month, it is important to learn more about local Black History year round. 


We have a wide variety of books related to African American history and genealogy on the Eastern Shore in our Maryland collection that are available to check out, and in the Worcester Room that can be used for research in the library.

Click each of the tabs to view books in our collection. This is not a complete list of all books we have on each topic. 

To search all books in our collection please visit our catalog here.

Resources at Other Maryland and Delmarva Organizations

In addition to the archive collections and books available at the Worcester County Libraries, we recommend checking out some of these online resources available at libraries, museums, and historical groups across Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.


African American Heritage Society of Snow Hill and Surrounding Areas

This local organization promotes the history and culture of African Americans in Worcester County. They have a Facebook page where they post about upcoming events, history, and more. They also have a YouTube page where they have begun posting oral histories from members of the community, and videos from their events.


The African Art Museum of Maryland

One of only three museums dedicated to African Art in the United States, it is located in Columbia, MD.


Black Heritage ‚Äčof the Lower Eastern Shore Project

One of the current initiatives of Beaches, Bays & Water Ways, a group whose mission is to preserve the history and heritage of the Lower Eastern the African American Heritage ‚Äčof the Lower Eastern Shore Project. This project includes a Heritage Walking Tour, videos, and interpretive signage.


Chesapeake Heartland

A collection of photographs, documents, and items related to African American history and culture in Kent County, Maryland and the surrounding areas. It was created as a collaboration between the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, and other local organizations.


Delaware Public Archives

The Delaware Public Archives has several guides and resources that may be useful to research on the Eastern Shore of Maryland as well. One of these is a book, A History of African Americans of Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore edited by Carole C. Marks, which contains articles written by historians and professors on various topics related to African American history in Delmarva. They also have two research guides, Tracing Your African American Roots in Delaware and their African American Subject Guide.


Delmarva African American History Blog

This blog by author Linda Duyer on various topics related to African American history in Delmarva. While not currently active, past blog posts highlight topics related to African American History in this area including newspaper clippings, photographs, and other items she came across doing research.


Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University

The Nabb Research Center has several collections related to African American History in Delmarva.


Enoch Pratt Free Library: African American Department

The Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore has a special department for African American history, culture, genealogy, and study. They have a reading room on site that you can visit to use their physical resources, or you can visit their website to see their online collections. This includes books, calendars, pamphlets, journals, newspapers, photographs, vertical files, and more. They also have some databases that are available with a digital Pratt Library card, which you can sign up for online. 

Some of their collections are also available online through Digital Maryland. These are the following:

They also have some research guides to help with research using their collections and other resources.


Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware

This site contains digitized copies of two books of family histories and lists of names of free African Americans living in Delmarva, as well as other states and regions in the surrounding areas. These names came from a variety of sources including "tax lists, wills, deeds, free Negro registers, marriage bonds, parish registers, Revolutionary War pension files, etc."


Genealogy and History of the Eastern Shore of Virginia

The 'GHOTES' webpage compiles research on genealogy and history from the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Delmarva. They have a page on the information on African American Families of Virginia's Eastern Shore.


Maryland Center for History and Culture

The Maryland Center for History and Culture (formerly known as the Maryland Historical Society) has many valuable resources on African American History. Their Guide to African American Sources highlights several of the resources they have in their collection. They also have a Guide to the Civil Rights Movement, for more specific information on that time period.

They have also had several virtual programs and seminars related to African American History in Maryland. Some of these included 

and more! A complete list of their virtual programs can be found here

They also have some other pages and articles on African Americans in Maryland including


Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture

A group that "is committed to discovering, documenting, preserving, collecting, and promoting Maryland’s African American heritage." They also provide assistance to institutions with similar goals. Some of their current projects include preserving African American Cemeteries and publishing a seasonal newsletter.


Maryland Genealogical Society

The MGS has a page featuring several resources that could be useful to genealogists researching African American families. This page is located here: African American Resources


Maryland Historic Trust

The MHT works to preserve important and historical buildings, sites, and communities in the state of Maryland. They have a few projects related to African American history.


Maryland Office of Tourism

The state tourism office has several pages that feature museums and other research organizations all across the state.


Maryland State Archives

The Maryland State Archives has a guide to African American Resources. They have many records including censuses, newspapers, church records, indexes, and more. 

Researching African American Families at the Maryland State Archives

Legacy of Slavery in Maryland

  • A page created by the MSA to show the history of slavery in Maryland. It includes biographies of enslaved Marylanders, slave owners, and abolitionists, a database of documents including newspaper ads, census records, bills of sale, and more, interactive maps, and links to other research resources.
  • A Guide to the History of Slavery in Maryland

Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission

  • This commission was created in 2019 to "research cases of racially motivated lynchings and hold public meetings and regional hearings where a lynching of an African American by a white mob has been documented."
  • More information about lynchings in Maryland can be found on the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project site.


Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture

A museum focused on the history and culture of African Americans in Maryland. It is located in Baltimore, MD.

Some of their collections are available to view online here. They also have a blog highlighting some of their items and collections here.

General Resources


African American Odyssey

Items from the Library of Congress's collections that have been compiled into Digital Collections. Some of these collections include The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of CongressBorn in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938, and Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860. More of their African American history collections can be found and searched here. 


A website focusing on African American Genealogy that has links to records including census records, death records, and a surname database, guides to doing your own research, and forums.


Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society

This site contains a plethora of resources related to African American genealogy and history on a national level. These include a published journal, genealogy guides, conferences, and more.


Black Past

A website with information about African American history and people with African heritage around the world. They have a timeline of African American history that is very informative.


Family Search

This genealogy site has guides on finding records on many topics including African American Online Genealogy Records.


National Archives

The National Archives has many useful resources related to African American history across the United States. Some of these can be found on their African American Heritage Research Guide or their page Know Your Records: African American Records.



This page compiles records of slave trades including Trans-Atlantic and Intra-American slave trades. 


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Worcester County Library - 307 North Washington Street, Snow Hill, Maryland 21863 Email: | Phone: 410-632-2600 | Fax: 410-632-1159