The William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library
Peabody Collection

Collections > Reference > Periodicals >Circulation > Government Documents > Microforms > Audiovisual > Peabody

The Peabody Collection is a distinctive group of African American resources housed in the William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library at Hampton University. The collection contains more than 30,000 items by and about African Americans. This includes about 21,300 monographs, 1,200 anti-slavery pamphlets, vertical file materials, periodicals and other documents on slavery and the Reconstruction period in the United States

The Peabody Collection is one of the oldest African American library collections in the country. In 1905, George Foster Peabody obtained 1,400 books and pamphlets on the Negro and slavery from bibliophile Tucker A. Malone and lent them to the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Library, the former main university library. In 1908, this loan was converted into a gift. Six years later, the library of Dr. Phil Broome Brooks, a black physician in Washington, D. C., was purchased. In subsequent years, other collections were added, including materials on Native American culture. Many people have enriched the Peabody Collection through contributions throughout the years.

The Peabody Collection is located on the 3rd floor of Harvey Library.

Because of the rare and special nature of its resources, the Peabody Collection has limited hours. During the regular school year, the Peabody Collection is open::

Monday - Thursday

1- 10PM


1 - 5 PM


1- 5PM


3 - 10PM

Most items housed in the Peabody Collection are indexed in Harvey Library's online catalog, HUWebCat. When looking up materials in HUWebCat, note the call numbers and location of items to determine where to find materials throughout the library. Items held in the Peabody Collection are identified by the location Peabody in the online catalog records.

The Peabody Collection is a "closed" collection and items are requested for retrieval at the Peabody service desk. Patrons provide call numbers and/or titles of items of interest to the service desk in the Peabody Collection. Materials housed in the Peabody Collection may only be used within the special collection room on the third floor, and are checked out at the service desk for a maximum of two hours. Fines accrue at a rate of ten dollars per hour. Some materials may not be checked out for use outside the designated area or outside the library.

Notable documents of the Peabody Collection are also included in the Library of Congress American Memory Project, a web-based database of historical documents and photographs reflecting important events in American history. Search the American Memory site for the word "Hampton" to display these notable Peabody Collection materials.

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