The Carnegie Library (pictured left) located on the historic campus of Florida A&M University (FAMU). Construction on the library started in 1907 and the facility officially opened to the public in 1908. It was the first Carnegie Library built on a black land-grant college campus. The library was also the institution's first brick veneer building.
In 1971, the Florida Legislature mandated the creation of a repository to “serve the state by collecting and preserving source material on and about African Americans from ancient to present times.” This mandate gave birth to what would later become the Black Archives, Research Center and Museum. The center was founded by Florida A&M University history professor, Dr. James N. Eaton in 1976, and officially opened in historic Carnegie Library on FAMU’s campus. Since this time, the Black Archives has served as an informational resource for individuals of various ages, ethnicities, and interests. By functioning both as a repository for archival records and a museum for historical regalia, the center continues to render academic support to educational institutions, civic, political, religious and social groups, as well as, public and private businesses throughout Florida and the nation.
Although designated as a statewide facility, the Black Archives quickly evolved into an important regional, national and international research center for studies pertaining to African American culture and history. Due to generous contributions from the public, the center’s holdings consist of more than 500,000 archival records and thousands of museum artifacts. The center is currently one of the largest repositories relating to African American history and culture in the Southeast. More than 160,000 people visit the center annually, or are educated through the Archives’ numerous outreach programs. Many reference requests and visitors to the museum include people from throughout the United Sates and other parts of the world including Africa, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, and the West Indies.
In 1976, Carnegie Library became the founding home of the Black Archives Research Center and Museum. In 1978, Carnegie Library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.