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African American Studies Resource Guide: Slavery & Jim Crow
This guide provides selected information resources in support of BLKST / HST- 469: 'African American Life-Slave & Free.' These resources include both those useful to the study of historical events and those appropriate for researching current issues.
"Chairman of the Vigilance Committee (part of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society), William Still assisted fugitive slaves as they were secretly shuttled into Philadelphia in the mid-1800s. From 1852 to 1857, Still kept a journal describing his encounters with the slaves in painstaking detail, recording their names, physical characteristics, personalities, and other details. Still's meticulous entries offer unique insight into the secretive network known as the Underground Railroad. The journal, which is owned by the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, was deposited at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in the 1920s. Conservation and digitization of the journal was made possible in 2009 through a generous donation from the Penn Towne Chapter of The Links, Inc."
"Voyages" is a unique achievement, sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Emory University Libraries. This publicly available, online database gathers information on 34,941 trans-Atlantic slaving voyages between the years 1514 and 1866. Documents held in archives and libraries on both sides of the Atlantic provide information on the vessels, slave traders and owners, the enslaved peoples, trading routes, ports, and individual names, as recorded at the time.
"The African American Geography of Civil War Tennessee is an interactive map showing the landscape of emancipation as it unfolded from 1861 to 1865. Every point on the map is linked to primary documents and images that tell the story of people, places, and events." The site is the result of collaboration between the Tennessee State Library & Archives, Fullerton Geospatial Lab at Middle Tennessee State University, State of Tennessee OIR-GIS, and the Tennessee State Museum.
"Born in Slavery" contains over 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 photographs of former slaves. The narratives were gathered in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In 1941 they were microfilmed as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. The online collection is provided by the Library of Congress.
These narratives comprise one section of "Documenting the American South," a primary documents project at the University Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The collection includes all the existing autobiographical narratives of fugitive and former slaves published as broadsides, pamphlets, or books in English up to 1920. It also contains many biographies of fugitive and former slaves and some fictional slave narratives published in English before 1920.
This "digital collection of books and pamphlets [demonstrates] the varying ideas and beliefs about slavery in the United States as expressed by Americans throughout the nineteenth century." The collection is presented by Millersville University and Dickinson College, and it includes "first person narratives, legal proceedings and decisions, anti-slavery tracts, religious sermons, and early secondary works."
This website presents the digitized results of the project run by Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, from 1993 to 1995. "Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the primary purpose of this documentary project was to record and preserve the living memory of African American life during the age of legal segregation in the American South, from the 1890s to the 1950s. "