Aside from the original manuscripts of her autobiography Crusade for Justice: Autobiography of Ida B. Wells, there are 27 original photographs, articles, and correspondence. The collection also contains Wells’ diaries from 1885-1887 and 1930, and two other books owned by her. The papers include contemporary accounts and articles about Ida B. Wells, including her trips to England and her suit against the Chesapeake, Ohio, & Southwestern Railroad Company. The oversize materials in Box 11 contain additional contemporary newspaper accounts. The remainder of the collection consists chiefly of her daughter Alfreda M. Duster’s working copies of the autobiography, including a few biographical versions, research correspondence, notes, background material, publication correspondence concerning Crusade for Justice, and articles about Ida B. Wells.
Much of the information on the original folder headings has been retained, including information in quotation marks taken from Alfreda M. Duster’s folder heading notes. The use of the initials “AMD” and “IBW” in the inventory refer to Alfreda M. Duster and Ida B. Wells, respectively. Ida B. Wells’ name also appears as “IBW-B” to indicate her married name, Barnett.
Series XIX contains a small amount of addenda material relating to Ida B. Wells that came at a later date. It includes a small but important collection of manuscript and primary printed materials concerning Ida B. Wells including correspondence with Frederick Douglass and Judge Albion Tourgee, articles, and original newspaper clippings written by and about her. This series also includes photocopies of correspondence of her husband Ferdinand Barnett and a scrapbook of newspaper articles written by Ferdinand Barnett. The scrapbook is in fragile condition and is not available for research, but a photocopy of the entire scrapbook has been made and is located in Box 10 Folder 8.