The New-York Historical Society has recently launched a new online portal linking to almost 12,000 pages of source materials relating to the history of slavery in the United States, the Atlantic slave trade, and the abolitionist movement.
These documents, from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, are now being made easily accessible to the general public for the first time. All together, these materials represent fourteen of the New-York Historical Society’s Manuscripts Department’s most important collections. Access to these materials is free; no subscription required!
Included in these collections are:
- account books and ship manifests revealing the financial aspects of the slave trade
- birth certificates, deeds of manumission, and other legal papers
- political writings and polemics relating to slavery and abolition
- archival materials relating to the New-York Manumission Society (1785-1849), the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, and the records of the New-York African Free School (1817-1832)
Another useful primary-source collection for the study of African-American slavery and the Atlantic slave trade is the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. This database includes information about over 35,000 slave trading voyages, and also includes the African Names Database, which identifies over 67,000 Africans aboard slave ships, using name, age, gender, origin, and place of embarkation.
The GSU Library’s database Eighteenth Century Collections Online also includes primary printed sources relating to slavery and abolition in the eighteenth century. Additionally, our African American Newspapers database includes newspapers published by African Americans before, during, and after the Civil War, providing insight into African-American perspectives on slavery and abolition in the nineteenth century.