Over thirty years ago, Len Garrison, co-founder of Black Cultural Archives, asked the question “Where are our Heroes, Martyrs and Monuments?” 

Since 1981 Black Cultural Archives (BCA) has embarked on the journey to collect and preserve materials which redress the historical balance and representation of people of African and Caribbean descent in Britain. Our archive collection is now one of the most comprehensive collections that document the history and cultural heritage of Black Britain.

Originating as a community archive amassed over many years, the archive has been transformed into professional archive that meets international quality standards and houses over 50 sq metrics of archival materials across two sites. With the support of Heritage Lottery Fund, archivists and trained volunteers continue to catalogue, contextualise and expand the archive collection. Our unique archive collection differs from conventional, traditional archives as it remains rooted in the community that created it.

Visit Us to view the collections in person.


Subject guides

Our subject guides offer an introduction to key themes within our collections. Each subject guide presents an historical overview, related items from our collection and bibliography to support further research.


search the collection

Our online catalogue contains details of over 3,500 records across 41 collections reflecting the history and presence of African and Caribbean communities in Britain.  These include personal papers, organisational records, ephemera, photographs and periodicals, library references and the object collections.

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Donating to the archive

Our work aims to fill the gaps in British history to represent a more inclusive history. In order to do so, we actively add to our collection. For further information on what we collect for our archive please read our information sheet and Collection Policy.

If you have material or a collection that you think we may be interested in, email or telephone 0203 757 8511.