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Dorothy Provine Free Black Research Collection

Identifier: 139

Scope and Contents

The Dorothy Provine Free Black Research Collection contains photocopies of wills, marriage registers, freedom records, manumissions records, research files, writings by Provine, birth records, death records, records of social organizations, genealogy records, and records of black property owners. It should be noted that while the documents in this collection date from 1686 to 1997, nearly all records in this collection are photocopies of original documents, made predominantly in the 1990s.


  • Creation: 1686-1997


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Dorothy Provine served as an archivist in the Civil Archives Division of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Provine authored an article titled, "The Economic Position of the Free Blacks in Washington, D.C., 1800-1860." She continued her work with the release of the District of Columbia Free Negroes Register, 1821-1861. In her work, Provine compiles the abstracts of entries in the free black registries in D.C. The records cover 1821-1861, which from the early 19th century to just prior to the Civil War. The collection includes research Provine completed in order to finish her publications.


11 Linear feet

11 Boxes


Processed without series.

Custodial History

The collection was donated to the Library by Dorothy Provine in 1998.

Processing Information

Basic archival processing procedures were applied to the collection when it was processed.

Dorothy Provine Free Black Research Collection
An inventory of Dorothy Provine Free Black Research Collection at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by DC Africana Archives Project.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-10-21: Finding aid revised to be more evergreen.

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001