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History in Focus

the guide to historical resources • Issue 12: Slavery •


An engraving of slaves in wooden yokes used in Coffles, Senegal, c.1789.

Wooden yokes used in Coffles, Senegal, c.1789.

Thomas Clarkson, Letters on the slave-trade, and the state of the natives in those parts of Africa, ... contiguous to Fort St. Louis and Goree (London, 1791), plate 2, facing p. 36, figs. 1-5. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia).

Source: The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record, Jerome S. Handler and Michael L. Tuite Jr.


The following sites are a small sample of the websites on slavery that are available. Museums and archives also have websites with information about migration. You will find a listing of these on the more resources page. You can also use intute to locate other websites.

Abolition 200

Abolition 200, developed by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in conjunction with the 24 Hour Museum with funding from Awards for All, is a portal for news of events and activities that commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Act to abolish the transatlantic slave trade on British ships. The website features a searchable database of events, news stories and a special area for teachers and schools. It also highlights funding opportunities for groups that wish to apply for National Lottery money to help fund their commemorative events and activities.

A house divided: America in the age of Lincoln

A House Divided is an online exhibition hosted by the Digital History website and is likely to be of interest to American History researchers up to undergraduate level. It is based on the book of the same name, written by the leading historians Eric Foner and Olivia Mahoney and published by the Chicago Historical Society. The exhibition has been developed with sponsorship from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The exhibition explores the history of America immediately before, during and after the American Civil War, 1861–1865. Split into seven chapters, the exhibition discusses the history of slavery, the debate over the abolition of slavery and the tensions between the free and slave-holding states during the antebellum years, the war years, Reconstruction, and the effect the war had on politics and society. Also included is information about Abraham Lincoln and his family. The exhibition has a good balance of text and graphics, and cartoons, photographs, drawings, newspaper articles and pictures of artefacts are all used to illustrate the text.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Africa focus: sights and sounds of a continent

The Africa Focus website, from the University of Wisconsin, makes freely available a wealth of primary and secondary materials relating to African studies. These include slides, images, recordings and rare texts relating to pre-colonial West Africa. The texts may be browsed by title and chapter, or searched via a free-text search engine. The texts are displayed as scalable digital images of each book page. Four of the works included were written before 1700, and have been translated into English by the late Paul Hair. These consist of: Andre Alvares de Almada, 'Brief Treatise on the Rivers of Guinea' (c.1594); Manuel Alvares, 'Ethiopia Minor and a Geographical Account of the Province of Sierra Leone'; Barbot's 'West African Vocabularies' (c.1680); and assembled 'Jesuit Documents on the Guinea of Cape Verde and the Cape Verde Islands, 1585–1617'. Three more recent works have also been digitised and added to the database: J. D. Fage, 'A Guide to Original Sources for Precolonial Western Africa Published in European Languages'; Adam Jones, 'Raw, medium, well done: a critical review of editorial and quasi-editorial work on pre-1885 European sources for Sub-Saharan Africa, 1960–1986'; and finally, Paul E. Lovejoy, 'Africans in bondage: studies in slavery and the slave trade: essays in honor of Philip D. Curtin on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of African Studies at the University of Wisconsin'. The early European accounts of the African peoples and cultures are particularly fascinating, and would be almost inaccessible to scholars without this website. It should provide a useful resource for anyone studying African history from the sixteenth century.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Africa south of the Sahara: history

Africa South of the Sahara (History) is a guide to Internet resources relating to the history of sub-Sahara Africa. It is likely to be of interest to undergraduate researchers and above in history, geography and related disciplines. Resources have been filed under a wide range of headings including: afrocentrism; archaeology; censuses; colonial period; economic history; exploration; military history; religion; and slavery. There is also information about maps; libraries; discussion lists; courses; photographs; and museums. The site is part of the broader Africa South of the Sahara which includes a search engine and further information about the project. The site is maintained by Karen Fung, Africa Collection, Hoover Library, Stanford University.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

African American history

African American History website charts Afro-American history from 1857 to the mid 1970s. The site is a useful resource for those interested in a broad overview of Afro-American people from the nineteenth century. The author documents an important selection of events beginning with the Dredd Scott case and culminating with school desegregation plans. One can navigate through the site by the contents page which is divided into five key periods: The Dredd Scott Case 1857; After the Civil War 1865–1900; Early Civil Rights Struggles 1945–1955; The Civil Rights Movements 1955–1965; and School Integration 1955–1975. The information given is mostly based on famous legal struggles throughout the period but also covers the broad themes of slavery and segregation including the infamous Montgomery Bus Boycott and anti-segregation sit-ins. The site includes a comprehensive bibliography for further references on the theme, as available when it was completed in 1998.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

African American women writers of the nineteenth century

The website African American Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century has been developed by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. The site provides a searchable database of African American women's writing during the period. It is possible to search by genre such as biography and autobiography, fiction or essays, or by author or title of work. The collection includes the first published book of poetry by an African American, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley (1773); the first book of essays by an African American, Essays by Ann Plato (1841); texts by writers such as Mary Prince and Harriet Jacobs that have become more widely-known in recent years, alongside writings by much lesser-known women. To support accurate attribution of the collection, the site also offers MLA-style citations for each of the texts in the collection. In addition to the online texts, the site provides detailed biographies of a number of women whose work figures in the collection. The site provides information on topics such as slavery and missionary work and would be of interest to historians working in a range of fields other than the history of female emancipation, black emancipation or women's writing.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

African Americans: biography, autobiography and history

This website provides access to a collection of full-text primary source documents relating to the history of black emancipation and civil rights movements in the USA in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It includes speeches and writings from key figures such as Martin Luther King, Booker T. Washington, Sojourner Truth and W.E.B. Du Bois. These include a transcript of Martin Luther King's famous 'I have a Dream' speech (1963). Other topics covered include: slavery, the movement towards emancipation and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The site is fully searchable by subject keyword. It forms part of Project Avalon which is hosted by Yale Law School.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Africans in America

The website Africans in America was produced as an accompaniment to a series on US history courses. It is presented in four parts: The Terrible Transformation 1450–1750; Revolution 1750–1805; Brotherly Love 1791–1831; and Judgement Day 1831–1865. Each part features a historical narrative, resource bank and teacher's guide. This informative guide traces the change in status from indentured servitude to slavery, and then finally to nominal freedom. The site presents an excellent insight into the everyday lives and struggles of the African-American, African and Caribbean people forcibly removed to America, within the context of US history. Supplemented by quotations from primary and secondary sources, the site discusses the complex relationships between master and servant, the slaves and servants themselves, the role of the family and that of slavery in the political arena. The resource banks contain ample additional contextual material, and some primary sources. The teacher's guides provide suggestions for questions, activities, lesson foci, and additional resources. Useful indices of historical documents, modern voices, and people and events are also included for ease of navigation. Overall this site is one of the better ones in its field.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Afro-Louisiana history and genealogy 1719–1820

This site provides access to a searchable database of resources relating to slavery in Louisiana between 1719–1820. It includes the names, ages and occupations of Afro-American slaves and slave owners in the region. Also accessible is data on slave prices, the text of oral histories and information on the emancipation and abolition of slavery. Additional features are explanations of how the data was compiled and links to some primary resource documents including slave advertisements and inventory sheets.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

American slave narratives: an online anthology

American Slave Narratives offers a selection of online transcriptions of interviews with former slaves carried out by the Works Progress Administration between 1936 and 1938. Sound files of some interviews are also available. The site contains an annotated index of the sample texts – thirteen in all – as well as a note on reading the texts and a selected bibliography of related readings. Although only small, this resource is a starting point for students working on and interested in slavery around the time of the American civil war. These first hand narratives are poignant, as well as revealing much about mainstream attitudes in the manner in which the interviewers conduct the interviews.

(Record courtesy of intute.)


Amistad is a well-constructed site from the Museum of America and the Sea, exploring the Amistad Revolt of 1839–1842. The site has a substantial collection of primary document sources, as well as narrative support materials available online in the library section. Also available is a bibliographic reference for the site's research. Of particular importance is the teaching section which gives practical advice and ideas on how to adapt the site for class or project use. This site is suitable for key stage 3/4 pupils and teachers and would also be useful for first year undergraduate students of the history of slavery.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Anti-slavery movement in Canada

The Anti-Slavery Movement in Canada is an online exhibition, featured on the National Archives of Canada website. This exhibition is based on the collections of anti-slavery related material held at the National Archives of Canada, and the National Library of Canada, and was launched to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada. The exhibition is separated into five sections that explore the history of Black life in Canada, and the people involved in the anti-slavery movement. The chapters are Early Settlements, Black Communities in Canada, Refugees, The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada and the American Civil War. Each chapter contains digitised, captioned primary source material, such as letters, pamphlets, official documents, sketches and drawings, although it would have been useful if there were a narrative to accompany these. The exhibition can also be viewed in French.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

BBC history: Abolition

The BBC's Abolition portal includes links to the BBC's comprehensive history of the slave trade and its abolition, plus information on the legacy of the slave trade, including examples of modern-day slavery. It also contains links to sources of local history and local events as well as a guide to TV and radio programming to commemorate the abolition.

BBC history: Empire and sea power

This is the main page of the BBC History website's section on the rise of the British Empire and the progress that was made in sea power in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The site offers an overview of the period 1714–1837, plus a range of articles on topics such as: Nelson and Trafalgar; Wellington and Waterloo; Empire and industry; slavery; and the voyages of Captain Cook. These are supplemented by image galleries and interactive learning activities. Links to other relevant Web resources are also provided: a short list is given at the bottom of the main page, with longer selections alongside individual articles within the section. This resource is perhaps best suited to those wanting a general overview of the subject (new undergraduates, for example, or those teaching introductory courses), although some sections do contain articles by eminent scholars. The site is attractively presented and easy to use.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Beyond face value: depictions of slavery in Confederate currency

This site is an online exhibit focusing on depictions of slavery in Confederate currency. The main feature consists of beautifully rendered, and sometimes annotated, colour images of 76 banknotes or proof plates from around the period of the American Civil War. The site is divided into seven sections, which include a background to the Civil War, with a useful glossary of terms; information about the American economy and currency in the period; a bibliography; and links to other related sites. Swift and easy to navigate, the site contains detailed – yet manageable – information on an unusual aspect of American cultural history.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

The Black Canadian Experience in Ontario 1834 - 1914: flight, freedom, foundation

The Black Canadian Experience in Ontario is a virtual exhibition developed by the Archives of Ontario, Canada. The exhibit is based upon the Archive's Alvin D. McCurdy and Daniel Hill collections. This excellent exhibit displays scanned images of documents such as family photographs; photographs from local gatherings; letters; emancipation papers; newspaper clippings; and excerpts from community records together with explanatory text. Implicit within the content are the social reverberations of American slavery within the neighbouring British colony, and the dramatically different world the latter offered to fleeing slaves who became Black Loyalists and settlers. The site highlights: emancipation; the anti-slavery movement; migration and settlement; Black life in Ontario; education and religion; human rights including the 1944 Racial Discrimination Act; and details of further research resources for Black History at the Ontario Archives. This exhibit emphasises both the marked divergences between Canadian and American histories – and the inevitable historical connection between the two countries. The site gives archival catalogue details which will aid researchers in Canadian, American and Afro-American social History. Teachers, students and members of the public will also find the site informative.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Born in slavery: slave narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936–1938

This site is a collection of over 2,500 first person accounts of slavery and 500 photographs of former slaves with links to their corresponding narrative. Made available through the Library of Congress, the narratives were collected between 1936 and 1938 by the WPA Federal Writer's Project. Intended for undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers, and the general public, this site offers an opportunity to study autobiographical accounts of slave life in North America. Information on the interviewers, interviewees and the process of collection and compilation can be found in the administration files. Though criticism can be made regarding problems of memory and the representativeness of the interviews the narratives nevertheless give an insight into the social and cultural milieu of plantation life from the perspective of the slave. The site is simple to navigate and can be browsed by narrator, volume or State. There is a searchable text function available for the collection as well as links to related resources within the Library of Congress and external websites. In addition there is a selected bibliography of works using these and other slave narratives, with links to further online sites for the study of American slavery.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Breaking the silence: learning about the transatlantic slave trade

This site's stated aim is to help teachers and educators to Break the Silence that continues to surround the story of the enslavement of Africa that began over 500 years ago. It is designed to provide teachers with a variety of resources and ideas about how to teach the subject holistically, accurately and truthfully. It aims to represent the voices that are not usually heard. It is developed by Anti-Slavery International.

Captive passage: the transatlantic slave trade and the making of the Americas

Captive Passage is an online exhibition on the Atlantic slave trade published by the Mariners' Museum. This is a well-designed presentation that explores all facets of the slave trade through five chapters, departure, middle passage, arrival, abolition, and legacy. Amongst the themes covered are pre-slave trade West Africa, conditions on board slave ships, the African Diaspora, the European benefits, the economics of slave labour, and the fight for the abolition of slavery. The short essays on each topic are all illustrated with great digitised images, which include primary sources in the form of maps, documents, and paintings. Also included are transcriptions of documents, including the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. Also on the site are further reading lists for both school-age students, and teachers and academics.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Caribbean views

Caribbean Views, which is part of the Collect Britain website made available by the British Library, presents digitised images of sources relating to the history of the British West Indies in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The sources have been gathered from the British Library's collections, which are rich in material covering the English slave trade in particular. Over 100 documents are represented by 1,203 images. These images include: views and illustrations; maps; manuscript accounts; and many printed texts. These present a variety of perspectives on life in the Caribbean, including those of British plantation-owners and abolitionists, in addition to the experiences of slaves themselves. The texts include extracts from important documents for the history of slavery, such as: Olaudah Equiano's autobiography; Wedderburn's 'The Horrors of Slavery'; Sir Hans Sloane's 'Voyages to the Islands'; and many others. This is a rich collection which will be appreciated by all with an interest in the history of the Caribbean and of slavery. It is likely to be particularly useful for school pupils and students. The source material is presented as a list of thumbnail images that can be sorted by date or title. Each image can be clicked to access the item page, which provides: bibliographical detail; a descriptive text; a link to a large version of the item image; and a link to a version of the image with zoom and pan functions. The document images are supplemented by a useful text introduction covering the historical background to the collections. The Collect Britain search function can be used to search this and other collections by keyword.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Classics of American colonial history

Classics of American Colonial History is a website that reproduces articles and book chapters now out of copyright in the USA (i.e. published before 1923) dealing with America's colonial past. Essays may be browsed by author or by subject area. Subjects include administration, slavery, economics, immigration, law, religion, and so forth. New material is scanned, edited, and added to the site on a regular basis. The text reproductions are clear and well presented, maintaining original page numbering. The few editorial emendations that have been made are clearly indicated in red. The site welcomes useful comments on the accuracy of the sources and the validity of their conclusions. Such comments are posted as addenda to the documents, along with their contributor's name and qualifications.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Comité de Liaison et d'Application des Sources Historiques

Educational resources website dedicated to the history of St. Barthélemy (FWI) and focusing on the slave trade, slavery and abolition and their impact on this island of the Lesser Antilles.

email: logbook@memoirestbarth.com
Documenting the American south

Documenting the American South is a digital publishing initiative offering an impressive look at one of American history's most emotive eras, through the words of contemporary slaves, Confederates and Yankees. Lavishly presented, with full scholarly citations, it provides primary materials offering widely divergent Southern perspectives on American history, literature, and culture, from the colonial period through the first decades of the twentieth century. The website is likely to prove particularly useful for those researching slavery or the American Civil War. The collection is divided into five sections: First-person Narratives of the American South, which contains transcripts of diaries, autobiographies and memoirs; the Library of Southern Literature, an eclectic collection containing the full-texts of novels, poetry and other literature, ranging from little-known works to slave narratives and writings by Kate Chopin, Edgar Allen Poe, and Mark Twain; North American Slave Narratives, a growing collection of narratives of fugitive and former slaves taken from pamphlets, broadsides and books; the Southern Homefront 1861–1865, which contains a diverse set of material documenting southern life during the Civil War (including diaries, legal documents, hymns, maps, images of documents and photographs) and the Church in the Southern Black Community, a new initiative to gather material relating to the impact of Southern American Africans on the church in America, and vice versa. All texts are encoded in SGML following the TEI guidelines. They are available online as HTML, or can be downloaded as SGML source files. The collection can be browsed by author or title, by searching for one or two words across the entire collection, or by restricting searches to individual texts or parts of texts. A 'New Additions' sections offers users the chance to learn about updates to the collection.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Encyclopedia of slavery

The excellent website Encyclopedia of Slavery is part of the Spartacus collection of resources aimed at students of AS and A-level history. Focusing on one of the darkest episodes of history, this site provides information on: slave accounts; the slave system; slave life; events and issues; campaigners aganst slavery; political organisations; and British campaigners. The potted narratives and biographies are excellent as revision aids, reference sources and supplementary classroom materials. Often accompanied by the texts of primary sources, the materials also contain embedded links referring to other pertinent subjects in the Spartacus collection.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Estudios afroamericanos

The website, Estudios Afroamericanos, stems from the work of a dedicated Afro-American studies research group based at the University of Barcelona, and offers a variety of reference resources, images and critical essays related to the field. An extensive bibliography of Afro-Americans studies is available here, structured according to geographical region (covering North, South and Central America). Links are also provided to online peer reviewed journals in the field. There is a small gallery of paintings and photographs, depicting aspects of Afro-Americans' lives, and again arranged by geographical region. A number of full-text essays by members of the Barcelona research group are also available on the site, on such themes as: slavery in Spanish society from the 15th century onwards; the treatment and commerce of slaves; and the question of identity in Afro-American communities. At the time of cataloguing, a number of thematic areas were listed on the site but related essays had yet to be made available. However, articles from the electronic, peer reviewed journal EA Virtual are available in full here as PDFs. The first issue of the journal was published in 2004 and articles may be written on any aspect of Afro-American history and culture. The site provides a number of links to related Web resources, making this a useful resource for those beginning work in this field. Users should note that a number of sections of the site were under construction at the time of cataloguing.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Exploring a common past: researching and interpreting the underground railroad

Researching and Interpreting the Underground Railroad is an online guide published by the National Park Service, designed to help those studying the history of the network that existed to help runaway slaves in the United States escape to emancipated parts of the country during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The guide includes an introduction to the Underground Railroad and slavery in the United States, an appraisal of the current scholarship on the topic and a guide to the variety of sources that can be used and how to approach and use these. There is also a case study, suggesting how sources can be used and interpreted, a good bibliography, and information about relevant archives, libraries and collections.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Frederick Douglass papers

The Frederick Douglass Papers provide full-text access to a wealth of materials relating to the life, work, and legacy of African-American slave and anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass. They include: personal diaries, correspondence, speeches, political pamphlets and writings. Also accessible are documents by other contemporary abolitionists, including Henry Ward Beecher, Ida B. Wells, and Gerrit Smith. Topics covered include: the emancipation of slaves in the USA, racial prejudice, prison reform, and women's suffrage. Most materials cover the period 1841–1964. Users may search the site by keyword or browse by subject. A timeline of Douglass's life and some background information on his importance is provided. Also accessible is a bibliography of further readings and a finding aid to the collection.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

From slavery to freedom: the African-American pamphlet collection 1824–1909

From slavery to freedom: the African-American pamphlet collection website, compiled by the Rare Books and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress provides access to the full-text of 397 pamphlets published between 1824 and 1909. The pamphlets cover topics including slavery, African colonization, reconstruction and emancipation. The type of material on the site includes personal accounts, public orations, legislative speeches and legislative speeches. The pamphlets have been scanned and these images are available from the site. The pamphlets have all also been transcribed. It is possible to search the collection by keyword or to browse the collection by title, author or subject. A list of related websites is also available from this site.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Gilder Lehrman center for the study of slavery, resistance and abolition

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition aims to investigate and disseminate information about all aspects of the Atlantic slave system and its destruction. It acts as a forum for the exchange of ideas between researchers, and also aims to make scholarly more readily available in the public domain via publications, educational outreach activities and other events. The website of the Gilder Lehrman Center provides general information on the work of the centre. The site also has details of conferences, events and conferences. Two online projects are available on the site; the Amistad Page and Tangled Roots. The site also hosts a collection of over 200 primary source documents. These can be browsed by author, date, subject or document type. Other features of the site include a list of relevant links, bibliographies and curriculum suggestions.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

H-slavery: the history of slavery

H-slavery is a moderated email discussion list focusing on the history of slavery, abolition, and emancipation. It seeks to promote communication between researchers working in this area, and to aid the dissemination of information. Only registered users can post to the list (registration instructions are given on the site), but the logs of previous discussions are freely available and fully searchable. Information is provided about the list's editors. H-slavery is part of the H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online network.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Historical papers, University of Witwatersrand

This is the website for the Department of Historical Papers based at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. The department holds over 2,400 collections relating to four hundred years of South African history. Amongst the subjects represented in the holdings are exploration in Africa, slavery, colonialism, missionaries, gold and diamond mining, Frontier wars, the Zulu War, the Anglo-Boer War, and both the First and Second World War. On the website there is information about a selection of the personal papers held at the department, including individuals like A.N.G. Champion, Dr. Xuma, J. H. Hofmeyr and Robert Sobukwe. There is also a list of some of the organisations and institutions whose archival collections are deposited at the Department of Historical Papers. Also available on the site are contact details for this archive, so researchers can find out more about the materials held there.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Internet African history sourcebook

The Internet African Sourcebook has been compiled by an academic, and published by Fordham University. It features a wide range of material on the history of many of the countries in Africa, with primary documents, journal articles and links to assessed websites. The material is arranged under the following headings, General African History, African Origins, Egypt, Ancient African Societies, Greek and Roman Africa, Africa and Islam, Ethiopia and Christianity, African Societies, the Impact of Slavery, European Imperialism, the Fight for Independence, and Modern Africa. The Internet African Sourcebook covers the continent's history from around 3000 BC until the late twentieth century, although some eras have more material than others. This is a useful site, though users should be aware that it is not regularly updated and some of the listings are no longer current.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

The National Archives' Abolition of Slavery site

The National Archives' slavery site contains background and information about Britain and the transatlantic slave trade, and relevant records held by The National Archives. Users can download and view digitised records relating to the transatlantic slave trade, from slave ship logs to abolitionists' wills. The site also contains links to further online resources, research guides and suggestions of further reading.

North American slave narratives

North American Slave Narratives is an electronic text collection published as part of the University of North Carolina's online project Documenting the American South. The collection is comprised of around 200 texts containing the narratives of fugitive and former slaves describing life in the American South during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These texts can be browsed alphabetically by author, chronologically or by subject index. Each text can be viewed in html or xml, and only in transcript form, not as a scanned page image. Also on the site is an introduction to the texts, giving some of the historical context of slavery in the Americas and its main themes, and a guide to the religious content in the collection.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Olaudah Equiano

This website contains the full-text of Olaudah Equiano's book The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written in 1789, Equiano's autobiography tells of how he was born in Nigeria and then sold into slavery in America. He becomes the slave to a captain in the Royal Navy, travels from the Mediterranean to the North Pole, and then to London, where he is involved in the movement to abolish slavery. The book was a publishing sensation, made Equiano his fortune and contributed to the growth of abolitionist opinion.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

On the stump: Arkansas politics, 1819–1919

This online exhibition on the history of Arkansas state politics is published by the Old State House Museum. The site covers the years 1819–1919, from the creation of the Arkansas Territory to the move of state government from State House to new premises. The site moves chronologically and touches on a range of events and issues in Arkansas's political history. Topics include politics in the antebellum state, the agrarian impact on state politics, regional conflict, conflicts over slavery and the secession crisis. Also covered are politics during the American Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow, black politics, and populist and progressive movements.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Parliament and the British Slave Trade 1600–1807

To mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade, the UK Parliamentary Archives has digitised a wealth of archival material which provides evidence of the issues, processes and people at the heart of Parliament's relationship with the slave trade. The site contains documents, photographs of artefacts and tells the story of the abolition and Parliament's role.

PortCities UK

PortCities UK is a huge online digital collection on the maritime history of the United Kingdom. It is funded by the New Opportunities Fund, as part of its EnrichUK project, and has been published by the National Maritime Museum in collaboration with Hartlepool Borough Libraries, Liverpool Libraries and Information Services, Bristol City Council, and Southampton Reference Library. PortCities UK acts as a portal for five satellite sites, which explore the maritime history of five cities Bristol, Hartlepool, Liverpool, Southampton and London. Amongst the subjects covered are slavery, shipbuilding, the docks, employment at sea, maritime archives and records, and war. Altogether the site contains over 5,000 digitised items, including photographs, manuscripts, paintings, artefacts, and maps. These can be browsed or searched by each city, or the entire site can be searched from the portal page.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Remembering black loyalists: black communities in Nova Scotia

Remembering Black Loyalists: Black Communities in Nova Scotia is a subsite of the Nova Scotia Museum, a family of provincial museums in Nova Scotia, Canada. This site is an online exhibition commemorating the flight of over 3500 freed or former slaves to Nova Scotia from the American colonies in the period surrounding the American Revolution (1774–1783). Although it extends earlier into the eighteenth century, the site concentrates on the period from 1783 to 1785, when two Nova Scotian black Loyalist communities, Birchtown and Tracadie, were founded. The site provides short biographies with quotations from memoirs and diaries of key figures in these first Canadian black communities. Surnames are taken from the 1783 source the Book of Negroes and are available online in an alphabetised list. There are also online maps; objects of daily use; churches; major historical events; and linked timelines. The site continues the narrative up to the present day by tracing some loyalists' descendants. This emphasis on historical continuity – including such instructive photographs as the Tracadie Monument and the Monument at Birchtown – particularly enhances the site's potential as a teaching tool. To augment this further, the site offers free courseware for teachers. For researchers, the site posts an online bibliography; filmography; overview of archival resources available; and a links list. Site content confirms a turning point in the paradoxical union and separation of American and Canadian national histories. As such, it will serve those studying Canadian and American Colonial Histories; the American Revolution; the History of Slavery; Canadian Maritime History; and Afro-American and Canadian Black Histories. The site is well designed and easy to navigate.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Slave voices from the Duke University special collections library

This is the online version of an exhibition held by the Special Collections Library at Duke University. It features transcriptions and digitised images of primary sources taken from the Broadside Collection at the library. The exhibition highlights material that aids research into slave life and black history in the United States, and covers the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The exhibition covers the nature of chattel slavery, work on the plantations, runaway slaves, the slave community, and emancipation. This site provides an interesting snapshot of the holdings of the Special Collections Library, and of primary sources concerning slavery.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Slavery era insurance registry

The Slavery Era Insurance Registry is published by the California Department of Insurance, and it provides online access to nineteenth-century insurance policies concerning black slaves. The website publishes a report that explains how the registry came about, and the input of various American insurance companies to the archive, and it also publishes databases of slave and slaveholder names that are documented in the insurance policies. Both the databases contain the names, occupation, and location of the slaves insured, and the name of their owner, their location, and the insurance company the policy was purchased from. They can be browsed alphabetically.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Strange Fruit

The Strange Fruit website has been designed to accompany the PBS film of the same name that looks at the history of the protest song in the United States. The website provides an overview of the protest song, from the eighteenth century to the present day, with audio files of songs from throughout the centuries. To listen to these files users will need to download the free RealPlayer. The overview runs chronologically, covering slavery, abolition and women's rights, workers, the Great Depression, war, labour and race, the Civil rights movement and Vietnam, 1980s anti-establishment protests, up to the present day and anti Iraq war protests. Other resources featured on the site include a bibliography of books and articles, a list of web links, and an educator's section.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Tangled roots

Tangled Roots is a project developed by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. The aim of the project is to explore the links between the history of African American slaves and the history of Irish immigrants. The site presents a number of routes through the Centre's online documents archive, chiefly via the 'getting started' and 'making connections' sections. Topics include: timelines; perceptions of Irish and African Americans through images of the time; and notes on specific individuals such as Daniel O'Connell and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Users can also directly access the documents collection which sorts documents by author, date, subject and type.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

The African American experience in Ohio, 1850–1920

The African American Experience in Ohio 1850–1920 is an impressive online archive of over 30,000 pages of digitised primary source material relating to the history of the black community in this U.S. state. Published by the Library of Congress and the Ohio Historical Society the collection spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and covers themes such as slavery, abolition, the underground railroad and African American politics and religion. Available on the site are personal papers, pamphlets, speeches, reports, 15,000 articles from state newspapers, photographs, plantation account books, ex-slave narratives, and correspondence. The collection can be searched by keyword, browsed through the subject index, or browsed by the type of source material.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

The church in the southern black community

Part of the larger series presented by the University of North Carolina, 'Documenting the American South', 'The Church in the Southern Black Community' offers a detailed look at the introduction and development of Protestant Christianity in African American communities. Through electronic reproductions of original texts and documents such as slave narratives, sermons and monographs, users are introduced to the history of African American religious conversion, and the subsequent transformation of the churches into evangelical and empowering voices against oppression and slavery. This collection is already very substantial (over a hundred and fifty digitised and encoded works at time of review), and new texts are still being added. All interested in or researching the relationship between Christianity and the African American community at the time of the American Revolution will find this collection an invaluable resource. In addition to the numerous articles, which can be quickly located through a variety of search utilities, the site's creators have also provided an introductory essay on Southern Black Christianity. Users will also find that the other electronic initiatives that make up this series on the American South serve as an excellent complement to each other, and are encouraged to consult them for allied information.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

The Harriet Beecher Stowe center: the Harriet Beecher Stowe house and library

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is an organisation which preserves the author's Connecticut home and aims to provide a forum for discussion of her life (1811–1896) and work (focusing particularly on 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'). The centre's website offers numerous resources for teachers and students. These include online versions of historic documents relating to slavery, specifically the abolition of slavery, which can be used for teaching purposes (although any other use of the documents, including reprinting, requires written permission from the centre). There are also details of online archives of secondary sources relating to slavery, lesson plans, a biographical sketch of Stowe with links to relevant external sites, and an annotated bibliography. Finally, the site details the archive and library collections held at the Stowe centre itself and provides links to sites on which the collections are searchable.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

The narrative of Sojourner Truth

The website "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth" is an online version of the account of Olive Gilbert, based on information given by Sojourner Truth and recorded in writing in 1850. The website is easy to navigate and is arranged in a linear text form with chapter or section headings differentiated for ease of navigation. The account tells of the famous Sojourner, christened Isabella, daughter of slaves, born between 1797 and 1800. Her story has become one of the most famous accounts of slavery in the USA. Freed in 1828, she had run away, and endured many trials which were common to African and Caribbean slaves in the USA and elsewhere. She was equally renowned for her sometimes misplaced Christian belief and piety. This is a text produced by the University of Virginia and is useful for all those studying Women's Studies, American or Afro-American Studies and History.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

The Patrin web journal: Romani culture and history

Patrin is a web resource which covers aspects of Romani culture and history. A wide variety of material is covered by the site. There is, for example, a brief history of the Roma and a timeline from approximately 400 to the present day. Information is provided on the persecution of the Roma in the Holocaust prior to and during the Second World War. The site includes full text of the book, 'The Pariah Syndrome: An account of Gypsy slavery and persecution', by Ian Hancock, Professor of Romani Studies at the University of Texas. The site has information on the culture and traditions of the Romani people. The site also addresses the current situation of the Roma; rights, organisations, Romani news etc. It is possible to browse the information on the site by country. Other features of the site include a section of links, a glossary and a bibliography.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: a revised and enlarged database 1500–1867

The trans-Atlantic slave trade remains a major field of academic enquiry and public interest. This new database of over 34,000 slaving voyages is the largest single resource of information available for the study of pre-colonial African history and a major asset for the study of Atlantic history and race relations.

Deposited by Professor Philip Richardson of the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull, the database builds on previously published information resulting from three decades of work from numerous scholars. The new enlarged database includes information on some 7,000 previously unknown voyages and additional information relating to over 10,000 voyages. The resource provides details of the itineraries and characteristics of ships involved in the trade.

The database is freely downloadable from the AHDS.

Uncle Tom's cabin and American culture: a multimedia archive

'Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture' is a comprehensive Web archive of photos, movie clips, bibliographical, and archival information on Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic anti-slavery novel (based on John P. Jewett's 1852 edition) 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' and its legacy. The text of the first edition has been digitised, and information on several other editions is also provided. Songs from the novel, and contemporary hymns and spirituals may be played from the site with an appropriate plug-in. Other multimedia features include 3D images of 'Tomitudes' (artefacts inspired by 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'), images of stage performances of the story, and video clips of film versions. Similar scenes from different film versions of the novel can be viewed side-by-side. The literary background to the novel is illustrated by the inclusion of assorted early nineteenth-century Christian and anti-slavery texts and Stowe's defence of the novel, The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin. Additionally, there is a broad range of reviews, articles, essays, and responses to the novel dating from 1852 to 1930, covering the perspectives of both African Americans and pro-slavery groups. Each of the texts and sub-sections of them are searchable for keywords and for references to persons and periodicals mentioned within them. This is an excellent site that will prove valuable to students studying the book, or looking at the history of the American abolitionist movement in the nineteenth century.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Understanding Slavery

Produced by the Understanding Slavery project, this website is a free resource for teachers and educators planning lessons on the transatlantic slave trade for young people at key stage 3 and 4 in their education. The project involves five museums working in partnership to promote and support the effective teaching of the history and legacies of the transatlantic slave trade in schools and communities through resources that fully reflect the many historical and contemporary perspectives on this major part of world history. The website contains selected artefacts from museum collections, historical information organised into eight chronological themes and lesson plans and activities for use in school or community contexts.

Virginia heritage: guides to manuscript and archival collections in Virginia

The Virginia Heritage Project, which is part of the Virtual Library of Virginia, is an online database of archival guides that allows users to search the manuscripts, collections, and archive holdings of several Virginian institutions. The guides in the database provide detailed information about primary source documents held in the collections and archives, and can be searched either by keyword, or by individual institutions. The results of a search provide users with a wealth of information about the contents of papers and collections. Each record lists contact information, access restrictions, publication rights and citation guidance. In addition to this there is also a components list, which provides a detailed breakdown of a collection's content. The first phase of the project has focused particularly on African-American history, and many of the 1600 collections included to date have an additional index of material relating to slavery and African-Americans in general. The archival holdings provide rich coverage of many aspects of American history, literature and political thought from the European settlement of Jamestown in the early seventeenth century, through the American Revolution and American Civil War, to the late twentieth century and events like the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Voices from the days of slavery: former slaves tell their stories

Voices from the Days of Slavery is an online collection of interviews conducted with African Americans from the Southern States born before the end of the American Civil War. The interviews were conducted between 1932 and 1975 and cover the whole of the interviewees lives, not just their early memories of slavery. Several interviewees sing songs. The quality of the audio recordings varies significantly, but transcriptions of the interviews are provided. The collection may be browsed by interview, song title, names, subjects, and places mentioned, or searched by keyword. The site hosts an essay about some of the interviewees, and provides short biographical summaries of the interviewers. An audio plug-in is required to listen to the recordings. This site should be of interest to anyone studying the history of slavery in the United States.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

Vrij in Suriname

The website 'Vrij in Suriname' (Free in Surinam) contains personal and family data of released Surinam slaves and free black people in Surinam. This website is developed by Amrit Consultancy in The Hague, the Instituut voor Maatschappij Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Institute for Society Research) in Paramaribo together with the Dutch National Archives as part of the project Historische Database Suriname (Historical Database Surinam). The website is a gateway to several databases. The Surinam manumissions (releases) 1832–1863 database is searchable by name of the released; name of the owner; and name of the 'borg', based on named documents in the National Archives and has a good introduction. There is no browse function. The Emancipatie (Liberation) 1863 database is similar and contains personal details of slaves, released in 1863 when slavery was abolished. Three databases make immigration registers available. The Hindoestaanse Database contains details of Hindostan immigrants who left British India between 1873–1916 to do contract work in Surinam. The Javan database covers the period 1890–1930 for contract workers from Indonesia, and the Chinese database covers 2017 contract workers from China between 1853–1873.

Under the heading 'Koloniaal Suriname' the marriage and baptism registries of the reformed churches from 1688–1792 are available as well as the data of the 'boeroes', Dutch immigrants between 1845–1853 and their offspring (500 entries). This is a very useful resource particularly for genealogists but also for historians interested in Surinam or in the abolition of slavery.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

WISE: Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation

WISE: Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation is a leading research institute based at the University of Hull. It conducts cross-disciplinary research into the history of slavery, its contemporary forms and efforts to eradicate it. It includes coverage of debates about asylum seekers, international migration and race relations. The website provides information on courses, conferences and project work. Also provided are links to information on the life of William Wilberforce.

(Record courtesy of intute.)

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