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Slavery Resource Guide

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Inspection and sale of a negro
Inspection and sale of a negro
1 photomechanical print.
Prints and Photographs Division.
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Aboard the Underground Railroad: A National Register Travel Itinerary, from the National Park Service

Aboard the Underground Railroad, highlights sites where escaped slaves gained sanctuary on their journey north.

African-American Sheet Music, from Brown University Library Center for Digital Scholarship

The sheet music in this digital collection has been selected from the Sheet Music Collection at the John Hay Library at Brown University. The full collection consists of approximately 500,000 items, of which perhaps 250,000 are currently available for use.

African-American Women: On-line Archival Collections, from Duke University

On-line archival collections featuring scanned pages and texts of the writings of African-American women.

Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery, from PBS

The Africans in America Web site is a companion to Africans in America, a six-hour public television series. The site examines the economic and intellectual foundations of slavery in America and the global economy that prospered from it. And it reveals how the presence of African people and their struggle for freedom transformed America.

American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection

The collection integrates over 2,300 photographs and 7,700 pages of text relating to the American Indians in two cultural areas of the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Coast and Plateau.

The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925

This compilation of printed texts from the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill traces how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life.

Death or Liberty: Gabriel, Nat Turner and John Brown, from the Library of Virginia

This site documents resistance to slavery, particularly highlighting the rebellions led by the three individuals named in the site's title.

Documenting the American South, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Documenting the American South (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes ten thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs.

First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920

This compilation of printed texts from the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill documents the culture of the nineteenth-century American South from the viewpoint of Southerners. It includes the diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts, and ex-slave narratives of not only prominent individuals, but also of relatively inaccessible populations: women, African Americans, enlisted men, laborers, and Native Americans.

Geography of Slavery in Virginia, from the University of Virginia

The project presents full transcriptions and images of all runaway and captured ads for slaves and servants placed in Virginia newspapers from 1736 to 1790, and is in the process of compiling advertisements well into the nineteenth century. In addition, the project offers a number of other documents related to slaves, servants, and slaveholders, including court records, other newspaper notices, slaveholder correspondence, and assorted literature about slavery and indentured servitude.

Historic American Sheet Music

The collection presents 3,042 pieces of sheet music drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, which holds an important, representative, and comprehensive collection of nineteenth, and early-twentieth-century American sheet music.

H-Slavery Discussion Network

H-Slavery seeks to promote interaction and exchange among scholars engaged in research on slavery, the slave trade, abolition, and emancipation. It is dedicated to the dissemination of information about the history of slavery and antislavery in all time periods and parts of the world.

"I will be heard!" Abolitionism in America, from Cornell University Library

An online exhibition of documents on our country’s intellectual, moral, and political struggle to achieve freedom for all Americans. Features rare books, manuscripts, letters, photographs, and other materials from Cornell’s pre-eminent anti-slavery and Civil War collections. The exhibition explores the complex history of slavery, resistance, and abolition from the 1700s through 1865.

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience

The Web site is organized around thirteen defining migrations that have formed and transformed African America and the nation. In addition, each migration has a bibliography (references) and a gateway of related Web sites. It presents more than 16,500 pages of texts, 8,300 illustrations, and more than 60 maps.

Making of America Books

Making of America (MOA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history primarily from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The book collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books with 19th century imprints.

New-York Historical Society, Manuscript Collections Relating to Slavery

The library of the New-York Historical Society holds among its many resources a substantial collection of manuscript materials documenting American slavery and the slave trade in the Atlantic world. The fourteen collections on this site are among the most important of these manuscript collections. They consist of diaries, account books, letter books, ships’ logs, indentures, bills of sale, personal papers, and records of institutions.

Race and Slavery Petitions Project, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The Race and Slavery Petitions Project is designed to locate, collect, organize, and publish virtually all surviving legislative petitions, and a large selected group of county court petitions concerning slavery in the South. The project covers the period from the beginnings of statehood to the end of slavery (1770s to 1860s).

The Revised Dred Scott Case Collection, from the Washington University Library

A chronology and primary sources on this pivotal case.

Slave Narratives, from the Museum of the African Diaspora

The museum presents excerpts from narratives by nine former slaves, with narration by Maya Angelou.

Slavery and Abolition in the US: Select Publications of the 1800s

Slavery and Abolition in the US: Select Publications of the 1800s is a digital collection of books and pamphlets that reflect the varying opinions and beliefs expressed on the slavery issue throughout the nineteenth century. The works in this collection reflect arguments on both sides of the slavery debate and include first person narratives, legal proceedings and decisions, anti-slavery tracts, religious sermons, and secondary works.

Third Person, First Person: Slave Voices from the Special Collections Library, Broadside Collection, Duke University

The exhibit Third Person, First Person: Slave Voices from the Special Collections Library probes the life experiences of American slaves from the late eighteenth century through the nineteenth century, and examines the enterprise of recovering and preserving African American history of the period. The exhibit showcases the kinds of rare materials that under scrutiny reveal the ambitions, motivations, and struggles of people often presumed mute.

Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture, from the University of Virginia

The site provides primary sources, teaching suggestions, and historical analysis.

The Underground Railroad, from the National Geographic

The site provides a time line, classroom ideas, resources, and other activities for young people.

Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names

This database is the latest step by the Virginia Historical Society to increase access to its varied collections relating to Virginians of African descent. Since its founding in 1831, the VHS has collected unpublished manuscripts, a collection that now numbers more than 8 million processed items.

The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War

The Valley Project details life in two communities, one Northern and one Southern, from the time of John Brown's Raid through the era of Reconstruction. The project includes diaries and letters pertaining to slavery.

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  August 10, 2018
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