Anchoring the west end of the Sweet Auburn historic district, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History opened May 1994 in Atlanta.
A special library of the Fulton County Library System (FCLS) formerly the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System (AFPLS), it is the first public library in the Southeast to offer specialized reference and archival collections dedicated to the study and research of African American culture and history and of other peoples of African descent.
The Archives Division collects, documents, preserves and interprets art and artifacts by and about peoples of African heritage throughout the world.
Fine and applied art and material culture objects are collected from the seventeenth century to the present with emphasis on the visual arts of the twentieth century in the United States and Africa.
The Division collects art and artifacts encompassing four broad areas: traditional African art; painting and sculpture; works on paper (i.e. drawings, prints, illustrations, posters and reproductions); and textiles and artifacts.
The collection contains contemporary works by African American artists, including works by Romare Bearden, Charles White, James Van Der Zee and Ed Dwight.
The Archives and Manuscripts Collection focuses on the history, literature, politics, and culture of peoples of African descent in Atlanta, the Southeast, the U.S. and the world.
In 2001 the library received a Governor's Award in the Humanities.