Spirituals were an intrinsic part of the African-American plantation life and were sung at all important occasions and events. This volume is the first index of African-American spirituals to be published in more than half a century and will be an important research tool for scholars and students of African-American history and music. The first collection of slave songs appeared in 1843, without musical tation, in a series of three articles by a Methodist Church missionary identified simply as c. Collections that included musical tation began appearing in the 1850s. The earliest book-length collection of spirituals containing both lyrics and music was published in 1867 and entitled Slave Songs of the United States. Not since the 1930s, with the publication of the Index to Negro Spirituals by the Cleveland Public Library, has an index of spirituals been compiled. The spirituals are neatly organized in four indexes: a title index, first line index, alternate title index and a topical index that includes twenty major categories. A bibliography of indexed sources serves as a guide for further research.
KATHLEEN A. ABROMEIT is the Conservatory Public Services Librarian at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio./e An active member of the the Music Library Association, she has written numerous reviews and articles for scholarly journals.