August Wilson Archive

August Wilson Archive

Explore Collection

How to Visit

The August Wilson Archive is accessible at Hillman Library on the University of Pittsburgh Oakland Campus. 

Please see our website for more information on how to visit.

Explore Exhibits

2 illustrations of costume designs and an album cover of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

August Wilson Archive Exhibit

Materials on display in this exhibit will rotate periodically while the August Wilson Archive is being processed by Archives & Special Collections staff.

Currently we are highlighting materials relating to Wilson’s Seven Guitars, whose Broadway casts have included Keith David, Viola Davis, and other luminaries of stage and screen. Previous exhibits showcased materials relating to Wilson’s first play to appear on Broadway, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

This exhibit can be viewed on the third floor of Hillman Library near Archives & Special Collections during open hours.

A Present-Day King

April - May 2023

44th Black Heritage Stamp, Honoring Legendary Playwright August Wilson

This exhibit was curated by a local student and is on view in the Gallery @ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Main (Oakland) for the months of April and May. Trinidy Manison is a high school junior at University Preparatory Milliones. Her exhibit explores the history of the Hill District interwoven with themes from August Wilson's King Hedley II. Her creative work and research are based in materials from the University of Pittsburgh Library System's Archives and Special Collections especially materials from the August Wilson Archive. The exhibit will be on view through the end of May when it will move next to the CLP branch in the Hill District then Hazelwood.

August Wilson in Place

Digital Exhibit

August Wilson: A Writer’s Landscape Logo

In honor of the grand opening of the August Wilson Archive, Dr. Jessica Fitzpatrick designed this exhibit to highlight how we can "see" the place of August Wilson. 

This digital is a work of cultural and spatial studies that connects the concept of Place with intangible memory, personal experience, and physical space. This is based on work for a living map - August Wilson in Place ( 

This exhibit can be viewed on the third floor of Hillman Library on the Digital Wall during open hours.

A Writer’s Landscape Exhibition

Permanent Exhibit

August Wilson: A Writer’s Landscape Logo

The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) in Downtown, Pittsburgh created a 3,600 square foot permanent exhibition that explores the people and places of Pittsburgh, where August Wilson was born and raised, and which had a profound impact on shaping his worldview and inspiring his unprecedented 10-play American Century Cycle.

Presented in three sections, or acts, A Writer’s Landscape showcases the universal themes the prolific playwright tackled and the enduring relevance of his work through artifacts from Wilson’s life and notable productions of his work; elements that invite patrons to address the issues of race, representation, family, and community; and interactive digital components that showcase each play in the cycle and where Wilson’s works are being presented around the world today. 

Giving Voice

On Netflix

Executive produced by Viola Davis and John Legend, "Giving Voice" follows students in the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition inspired by the late playwright.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

On Netflix

Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman) and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable “Mother of the Blues.” Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play.