This article explores in four sections the logic and impact of the ways in which all archival collections, but African American collections most poignantly, are incomplete; and how a national search engine for African American history confronts and attempts to address the absence of African American stories, voices, documents, and histories. Following the work of scholars such as Verne Harris, Michelle Caswell, and others, the first section analyzes how and why archives are always necessarily incomplete, as well as the particular reasons behind the bias and erasure of and within African American history and the archives that have come to collect and represent it. The second section discusses how Umbra Search African American History ( umbrasearch.org) was conceived as a response to the need for a more complete archival record of African American history and culture. Section three presents Umbra Search as a case study—what it is, how it has grown, the role of partners, and the challenges it faces. The final section considers the roles of academic and community collections, technology, and collaboration in creating access to a deeper and more fulsome representation of American history and culture.