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Welcome to Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s Papers & Collections. This is a working list of Shadd Cary’s known papers and collections of primary documents as located across numerous institutions, libraries, and repositories. Some collections encompass a large range of materials, while others may only include one or two items. This list and links to the associated collections is part of the mission of the Black Women’s Organizing Archive to bring together the scattered archival materials of nineteenth-century Black women intellectuals and organizers in order to recover their larger body of work, intellectual thought, and contributions to the social movements and communities they helped build. 

*Primary research locating extant collections of Shadd Cary’s papers and resources was led by Dr. Arline Wilson from 2019-2021.


Digital Collections

Buxton National Historic Site & Museum

The Garrison Shadd Diary Collection contains letters, financial records, diaries from family members of Shadd Cary, her printing press as well as some additional unspecified material. This collection is partially digitized.


Black Abolitionist Papers, Florida State University And UNC Press 

The Black Abolitionist Papers are available in print, microfilm, and in a digital collection (through ProQuest). Contains Shadd Cary correspondence, biographical materials, texts of speeches, editorials, reports, and personal documents relating to Shadd Cary’s activities in the United States and Canada.


Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts, Boston Public Library Rare Books

The Anti-Slavery Collection contains a letter from Shadd Cary to William Lloyd Garrison. 


Chester County Archives and Records Services

The County Archives contains deeds, census records, court cases associated with the Shadd family, and records of her bills as a teacher. Records are partially digitized.


Library and Archives Canada

The Mary Ann Shadd Cary Collection includes materials by and about Shadd Cary and contains correspondences, portrait, naturalization certificate, passport document, as well as other materials. The larger library and archive also contains printed books that chronicle the life and activism of Shadd Cary written by various scholars and historians.


Moorland Spingarn Research Center Howard University

The Mary Ann Shadd Cary Papers contains correspondence, biographical materials, texts of speeches, editorials, reports, personal documents, printed materials, and programs relating to Shadd Cary’s activities in the United States and Canada.


University of Detroit Mercy Archives

The Black Abolitionist Archive contains a speech given by Shadd Cary’s father, Abraham D. Shadd, published in the Colored American, as well as an article by Shadd Cary from Provincial Freeman. 


Non-Digital Collections

Amistad Research Center

The Vertical File at Amistad contains a folder with Shadd Cary’s family papers with unspecified archival items. For more information, please see the finding aid linked here: Box 31, folder 8.

This repository also contains correspondence from Mary Ann Shadd Cary to Robert Hamilton and George Whipple and has been digitized through the Women and Social Movements in the United States,1600-2000 collection.


The Archives of Ontario (Ontario Provincial Archives)

The Mary Ann Shadd Cary Papers contains a sermon by Shadd Cary; personal, political and business records, personal and political correspondence with Isaac Shadd, William Still, Thomas Cary, Rev. Samuel R. Ward, and H. Ford Douglass; lecture notes, including records The Provincial Freeman, subscription receipts, book reviews, draft articles, and poetry.


Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Yale University

The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection contains newspaper clippings (1920-1985) relating to Shadd Cary. 


Boston Public Library 

The William Lloyd Garrison Correspondence (1823-1879) includes a letter written by Shadd Cary to journalist, William Lloyd Garrison requesting for him to include the “accompanying minutes” (not included) in The Liberator


Chester County Historical Society

This Historical Society houses the Passmore Williamson’s Prison Visitors’ Book that includes Shadd Cary’s signature.


Chester County Archives and Records Services

The County Archives contains property tax records in Chester, PA of the local tax assessor. Records show the Shadd children’s names, their age, and the head of their household. This may include, but is not necessarily limited to, deeds, census records, court cases associated with the Shadd family, and records of  Shadd Cary’s bills as a teacher.


Hagley Museum and Library

The Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation research reports contains Harold Hancock’s manuscript draft, “Mary Ann Shadd: Negro Editor, Educator and Lawyer,” undated as part of their Manuscripts and Archives Repository. 


Harvard Library Schlesinger Library Radcliffe Institute

The Gerda Lerner Papers (1916-2013) contains notes, transcribed and photocopied primary source material, articles, clippings, etc. related to Black women’s organizing, including a file on Shadd Cary. 


Haverford College, Quaker and Special Collections

The Benjamin Coates African Colonization Collections (1840-1880) contains correspondence between Coates and Shadd Cary.


The Henry Ford Benson Ford Research Center

The Kathryn Emerson and Dr. James C. Buntin Papers contain ephemera, artwork, and graphics.


Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The Leon and Beatrice M. Gardiner Collection contains a letter from William Still to Shadd Cary.


Library of Virginia at Richmond

The Wormley Family Papers 1773-1991 (bulk 1880-1960) contains a family Bible, including information about the Shadd family marriages, wills, estates, births, deaths, and city directory information. 


Temple University

The Samuel R. Joyner Art Collection contains an original sketch of Shadd Cary. 


Weldon Library at University of Western Ontario

The Shadd Family Papers contains a large tintype of Abraham D. Shadd, Shadd Cary’s father, and papers of the Shadd Family including diaries, account books (microform). 


Material and Audio-Visual Archives

Library of Congress

The Prints and Photographs Division contains a photograph of the stair rail, post, and detail of the front stoop of Shadd Cary’s House: 1421 W Street Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia, DC.   


Queens and Rebels Podcast

The Queens and Rebels podcast discusses Shadd Cary’s work as an abolitionist, educator, lecturer, editor, journalist, civil-rights advocate, and lawyer.


Stuff You Missed in History Class Podcast

The SYMHC Podcast discusses Shadd Cary’s accomplishments and historical relevance.


Additional Shadd Cary Resources

B&W photo of woman

We look forward to cultivating more Shadd Cary resources as we continue to build out the BWOA website.