Search

Our Online catalogue contains details of over 3,500 records across 41 collections reflecting the history and presence of Caribbean and African communities within Britain.  These include personal papers, organisational records, ephemera, photographs and periodicals.  Our catalogue also provides details of our library and object collections.  We continue to receive in new archive material, but we are not always able to immediately catalogue them.  Please look at our spreadsheet Accession Register for new material that has been received in so far for 2017.

You can find out more about the collections by reading our themed Subject guides and Browse all of our catalogued collections in the archives. For uncatalogued collections look at the Discovery network.

Tips on how to use the online catalogue

Quick Search

We recommend searching using key words in the ‘any text’ search box on the catalogue as this will return the most results. It’s also worth searching for 2/3 similar keywords to try and ‘catch’ all that is relevant.  You can use Boolean to combine keywords e.g.

+ represents Boolean And, meaning the search result must include this word
– represents Boolean Not, meaning the search result must exclude this word
| represents Boolean Or, meaning the search result may include this word

Place one of these symbols before a word or phrase to apply it. If no symbols are used, then Boolean ‘And’ is assumed.

Advanced search


By default the search will look for all word or words you have entered. You can however choose to change the default search criteria by clicking Refine Search Criteria. There are three ways of refining the search option:

  • With all the words
  • With at least one of the words
  • Without the words

PLEASE NOTE: Black Cultural Archives includes among its collections the historical evidence of racism in Britain.  As a result, this catalogue contains terms which are racially offensive. These are being used in the interest of historical accuracy and do not reflect the views or opinions of Black Cultural Archives or it’s staff