Umbra: Search African American History featured in Star Tribune

Umbra SearchThe University Libraries made the front page of the Star Tribune last week with Umbra: Search African American History, its new digital platform that searches not only University of Minnesota collections, but hundreds of African-American archives across the country.

The year-old website,, “is an amazing resource,” Catherine Squires, a U communications professor, told Maura Lerner, the Star Tribune reporter. Squires added that, for students, Umbra is “a one-stop shop” to explore historical images and voices of the past, from slavery to the Harlem Renaissance to the Civil Rights movement.

“It’s a great tool to increase people’s awareness of just how rich that history is,” she said.

The article went on to quote Cecily Marcus, who directs the Umbra Project at University Libraries. Marcus noted that Umbra currently links to more than 400,000 pieces of history — photos, videos, letters and manuscripts — from 500 libraries and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution.

Read the full story at the Star Tribune

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