Alain Locke Collection: New titles!

Brown shelves containing a range of books that make up the 2023 Alain Locke Collection. In the middle of the image, above the books, there is a poster with a portrait of Alain Locke

The full display of the 2023 Alain Locke Donation.

The new selection of titles for the Alain Locke Collection are now available and on display in the Vere Harmsworth Library!

Readers will be able to see the new selections on the Ground Floor of the Library. This area, as part of our agreement with the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (AARS), will be dedicated to displaying and promoting the Collection. Alongside the titles are primary works by Alain Locke and items related to African American political history from our Philip and Rosamund Davies U.S. Elections Campaigns Archive.

A four by four grid of book front covers. These books are a selection of titles from the 2023 batch of

You can see above a selection of some of the titles that have been selected above. You can view the full list here.

About the collection

In spring 2021, the VHL and RAI agreed to create the Alain Locke Collection with support from the AARS. Named after the first African American Rhodes Scholar, the collection aims to focus on research monographs in the areas of African American history, politics, biography and culture, alongside notable gaps in material not produced by commercial publishers.

The Bodleian is committed to providing students and researchers with world class access to resources to enable them to fulfil their scholarly ambitions. We are therefore hugely grateful to the AARS for pledging a gift of $25,000 over five years supporting the Alain Locke Collection. This supports our intention for the VHL to become a leading centre for the study of African American history, politics, and culture.

The establishment of the Alain Locke Collection will allow the VHL to expand the purchase of African American focused research monographs, without affecting expenditure on other research areas. It will build on the VHL’s current holdings and run alongside the continued intake of research monographs via the legal deposit agreements and e-book packages. It will allow the VHL to identify and address potential gaps in some of the older materials. Most significantly, it will demonstrate our commitment to representing African American history and culture within our collections.

Current students and researchers can recommend titles to be purchased for the Alain Locke Collection by contacting the Vere Harmsworth Librarian (

If you have any further questions about the Alain Locke Collection, or the display, please contact Bethan Davies. To find out more about supporting the Vere Harmsworth Library and the Alain Locke collection please contact the Vere Harmsworth Library (