Paul Lovejoy, Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History at York University, discusses building an international database of biographical information on all enslaved Africans. He outlines this digital history project’s contribution to the study of slavery, race, and broader themes in global history. This is the first part of a two-part series recorded at the Atlantic Slave Biographies Database Conference at Michigan State University in November 2013. (Click here for Jessica Johnson’s Twitter timeline of the conference.)
The Maryland State Archives Legacy of Slavery in Maryland: An Archives of Maryland Electronic Publication has launched “Beneath the Underground.”
From the website:
The Beneath the Underground database features entries of over 300,000 individuals including, white and black, slave owners, enslaved and free individuals from primarily the years of 1830 through 1880 to review. Listed below are the record series currently searchable on-line.
About the Legacies of Slavery in Maryland site:
This program seeks to preserve and promote the vast universe of experiences that have shaped the lives of Maryland’s African American population. From the day that Mathias de Sousa and Francisco landed in St. Mary’s county aboard the Ark and the Dove in 1634, Black Marylanders have made significant contributions to both the state and nation in the political, economic, agricultural, legal, and domestic arenas. Despite what often seemed like insurmountable odds, Marylanders of Color have adapted, evolved, and prevailed. The Maryland State Archives’ Study of the Legacy of Slavery Staff invites researchers to explore all of these elements and more within its numerous source documents, exhibits and interactive online presentations.
(H/T: Krystal Appiah (@kaappiah) on Twitter)
Livetweeting courtesy of African Diaspora, Ph.D. on Twitter (@afrxdiasporaphd)
For more information, see here CONF: Biographies: Atlantic Slave Database Conference at MSU | African Diaspora, Ph.D. http://bit.ly/HSdWHA
Biographies: Atlantic Slave Database Conference
Michigan State University
November 8th & 9th 2013
“In 2011, with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, MSU’s History Department and MATRIX initiated Biographies: The Atlantic Slave Data Network (ASDN). We seek to provide a platform for researchers to upload, analyze, visualize, and utilize data they have collected, and to link it to other databases which together will complement each other in ways to create a much richer resource than the individual databases alone. There is a significant need for such a collaborative research platform. During the past two decades, there has been a seismic change in perception about what we can know about African slaves and their descendants throughout the Atlantic World (Africa, Europe, North and South America). Scholars have realized that, far from being either non-existent or extremely rare, various types of rich documentation about African slaves abound in archives, courthouses, newspapers, prisons, churches, government offices, museums, ports, and private collections. Since the 1980s, a number of major databases were constructed in original digital format and used in major publications of their creators. But they have lacked a platform for preservation and therefore are at risk of being lost as their creators retire. A growing number of collections of original manuscript documents have been digitized and are beginning to be made accessible free of charge over the Web. However, our task as historians is more than to preserve images of primary sources, but to interpret those sources by finding new ways to organize, share, mine and analyze as well as to preserve original materials which might otherwise be discarded or lost…”
Conference program is here.
The website is live and available here.
NOTE: African Diaspora, Ph.D. will be livetweeting a number of the panels. Follow @afrxdiasporaphd or the hashtag #ASBDmsu for more!
The historical record of the American Civil War includes a vast amount of visual material—photographs, illustrated news periodicals, comic publications, individually-published prints, almanacs, political cartoons, illustrated envelopes, trade cards, greeting cards, sheet music covers, money, and more. The era’s visual media heralded an unprecedented change in the production and availability of pictorial media in everyday life and an innovation in the documentation of warfare. In the last decade, a remarkable amount of these materials, previously confined to libraries, historical societies, and museums, has become available on the Web, and in the last generation drawn the attention of humanities scholars.
In July 2012 the American Social History Project held a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on The Visual Culture of the Civil War. For two weeks, thirty college and university teachers from across the United States explored the array of visual media that recorded and disseminated information about the war and the ways these old and new forms of visual representation and communication shaped Americans’ understanding on both sides of the conflict. This website features presentations by historians, art historians, and archivists who discussed their research with institute participants. Each presentation is accompanied by a gallery of archival images; a set of primary documents that illuminates aspects of the subject; and a bibliography of books, articles, and online resources for further investigation….
via official website:
The North Carolina Runaway Slave Advertisements project makes available some 2400 advertisements that appeared in North Carolina newspapers between 1751 and 1840. A collaboration between The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), the project builds on the work of Freddie L. Parker (Stealing a Little Freedom: Advertisements for Slave Runaways in North Carolina, 1791-1840) and Lathan Windley (Runaway Slave Advertisements)and presents digital images of the advertisements alongside full-text transcripts and additional metadata to facilitate search and discovery.
The advertisements were digitized from microfilm created by the North Carolina State Library and other sources. Staff members and student workers at UNCG and NC A&T scanned individual advertisements and then created transcripts and additional descriptive metadata. The master scans are saved as 300 dpi TIFF files on a server at UNCG and are made available to the public as JPEG access files using CONTENTdm digital content management software hosted by the Electronic Resources and Information Technology Department at UNCG.
The project was funded through a 2011-2012 NC ECHO Digitization Grant. This grant is made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
Featured Image Credit: “10 Dollars Reward,” Wilmington Advertiser, June 25, 1840. Reads “10 Dollars Reward. I WILL give the above reward for the apprehension of my girl Betsey, who absconded some time in March last. She is spare made, has a tooth out in front, and is about 18 years of age.–I will give a further Reward of $25 for evidence sufficient to convict any person of harbouring her. JUNIUS D. GARDNER. June 4th, 1840. 228-tf.”
From The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe website:
The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe project uses database technology to map the trade of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), a celebrated Swiss publishing house that operated between 1769 and 1794.
As the STN sold the works of other publishers alongside its own editions, their archives can be considered a representative source for studying the history of the book trade and dissemination of ideas in the late Enlightenment.
Using state of the art database, web interface and GIS technology, the project provides a user-friendly resource for use by scholars, teachers and students of French literature and history, book history, the Enlightenment and bibliography more generally…
Spanning nearly 5,000 years and documenting virtually all forms of media, the Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive is an unprecedented research project devoted to the systematic investigation of how people of African descent have been perceived and represented in art.
Started in 1960 by Jean and Dominique de Mänil in reaction to the continuing existence of segregation in the United States, the Archive contains photographs of approximately 30,000 works of art, each one of which is extensively documented and categorized by the Archive’s staff. For the first thirty years of the project’s existence, the project focused on the production of a prize-winning, four-volume series of generously illustrated books, The Image of the Black in Western Art.
Since moving to Harvard in 1994, the project is focused on the production of the final volume of The Image of the Black in Western Art and expanding access to the Archive itself (prior to its arrival at Harvard, the Archive was only available to scholars working on the published volumes). The Institute hosts conferences, fellowships for scholars, seminars, and exhibitions on issues raised by the Archive, including the African American Art Conference in 2004.
via Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive | W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. A selection of documents are available online via ArtStor ($$)