About the Library

Welcome to the Rose M. Nolen Black History Library!

Rose Nolen Library

Believing it is vitally important to pass on the important lessons of history to future generations the Rose M. Nolen Black History Library in Sedalia, Mo. has as its mission to gather and preserve the history of African American life specifically in Sedalia/Pettis County and all of Central Missouri.

Read Marge’s article on Sundown Towns here.


Sedalia is located in the middle of the State and home of the Missouri State Fair. Like most of Missouri, the Civil War and years afterward were extremely damaging and tumultuous as Missouri was split in two in regard to the slavery issue. In the Battle of Sedalia, October 14-15 1864, as negroes assisted in building the earthen barricade that stretched in an arc north of the railroad tracks near Main Street, they were sought out by General Jeff Thompson’s Confederate Army, executed and their shanties burned. Years afterward and to this day, hard feelings and animosities persist.

By recognizing the struggles and contributions of African American citizens who built vital communities in the face of slavery, segregation, discrimination, violence and lynchings, future generations can experience pride in their heritage and understand the true meaning of courage and being Black in Missouri.

Thus the purpose of the Library will be to preserve and maintain documents related to African American life in Missouri: to provide a facility for scholars, educators and other interested parties to research, discuss and write on subjects related to African American life in Missouri and to broaden the field of knowledge about the history and culture of Missouri’s African Americans.

The Library will also seek to uplift the intellectual environment of the total community by providing lectures, programs and discussion groups. With your help we can succeed!!

For more information, contact us at mlharlan31@gmail.com or by phone at 660-851-0077 or 660-366-4761.