This research facility, open since 1972 to researchers and scholars by appointment, is a fantastic resource for those studying African American culture and history. The collections include an Early Black Film section, Literary section, Rare Book section, and a Record Library. There are more than 25,000 books and over 8,000 records. Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith's first recordings are here. Western States Black Research Center also develops workshops in the community with teachers, writers, and other community members. It is an invaluable resource and one that is probably not used enough.