African-American Music, Series 3 : sheet music, ca. 1828-1980

The African-American series contains circa 7,800 pieces of sheet music and folios dating from the 1820s to the 1980s; most of the material dates from after 1890. Many of the pieces were composed or performed by Afro-American musicians; other pieces were created by white musicians using black musical styles (for example ragtime compositions). A large part of the series consists of songs about African-Americans (minstrel show songs, "coon songs"), often written in dialect and usually filled with negative stereotypes. Most, but not all, of the composers of this material were white. This series is arranged in the following subseries: 3:1 Minstrel Show and Blackface Entertainers; 3:2 Uncle Tom's Cabin; 3:3 African-American Folk-song and and Spirituals; 3:4 Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime; 3:5 Instrumental and Ragtime Music; 3:6 Ragtime Composers and Publishers; 3:7 Blues and Jazz Music; 3:8 African-American Composers and Performers.
Cite as
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music - Series 3, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Repository Loc.
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History : Archives Center. P.O. Box 37012, Suite 1100, MRC 601, Constitution Ave., between 12th and 14th Sts., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20013-7012. Call 202-633-3270 for appointment
African American musicians
Minstrel shows
Minstrel music
Blackface entertainers
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Restrictions & Rights
Unrestricted research access on site
Copyrights vary
DeVincent, Sam 1918-1997
Uniform title
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Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, 1790-1980s
ca 1828-1980
Sheet music
Collection descriptions