MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A University of Minnesota-led digital archive of African American historical materials is now free and accessible online to the public.
The university's Umbra search includes handwritten 17th-century letters, underground hip-hop albums from the 1970s and many other artifacts.
Cecily Marcus, curator of the Archie Givens, Sr., Collection of African American Literature at Anderson Library, says the site was created as a central repository for researchers, teachers, students, artists and faculty to use.
It includes more than 500,000 materials from nearly 1,000 institutions. The project was led by the university, but it's a national initiative involving several institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University.
Marcus says nearly half of the collection's materials are from the Digital Public Library of America.