The Black Archives of Mid-America collects, preserves, and makes available a wide selection of information resources that document the social and cultural experience of African Americans in the Kansas City metropolitan area and in the surrounding region. The organization holds one-of-a-kind archival collections, oral histories, valuable rare books, and a reference collection to support the needs of community members, scholars, educators, and students.
Among the rich special collections of the Black Archives of Mid-America are personal papers and records of civil and health service organizations, schools, churches, political organizations, sports groups, and clubs and other voluntary associations. These special collections include, among other things, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, board meeting minutes, campaign posters and ephemera, sheet music, and artifacts. Of special interest are the Allan Gray Family Personal Papers of Alvin Ailey, on long-term loan to the Black Archives of Mid-America.
The Black Archives of Mid-America maintains numerous oral history collections, numbered with special collections. The collections include interviews with business leaders, teachers, civil servants, and other members of the local community. Subjects include business, community affairs, education, music, politics, and religion.
The Black Archives of Mid-America maintains and continues to collect yearbooks for educational institutions across the region.
The Black Archives of Mid-America holds rare books that highlight African American society and culture both in the Kansas City area and around the United States.
The Black Archives of Mid-America maintains a reference collection to support the needs of users. The reference collection includes monographs and vertical files providing information on both local and national African American individuals, organizations, and events. A list of vertical files is available.