A project to record life histories from Northamptonshire's Black communities since the Middle Ages has won the 2005 CILIP/LiS Libraries Change Lives Award.
Walter Tull, one of the first black footballers, played for the Cobblers
Poet and writer Benjamin Zephaniah named the project at the Library and information Show in Birmingham.
The Black History Project now has 660 stories and histories of Asian, African and Caribbean people in Northants going back to the 12th century.
The project's work in schools, with the young and in research were all praised.
Director Carolyn Abel said: "It shows what a common passion can do for bringing people together."
Bringing stories to life
The project is also creating an oral history archive and now has more than 185 interviews.
Staff are also collecting archival records of 11 Black community organisations, producing newsletters and publications.
They are encouraging innovative learning for young people by bringing Black history alive in the classroom through school visits.
Anjona Roy, chief executive of Northants racial equality council said: "Getting the project off the ground took a lot of hard work from a variety of agencies and local people.
"The work done by the project has consolidated and highlighted the contribution of Northamptonshire's Black communities in a way that we can all share and own."