UNC Greensboro University Libraries has received a three-year, $294,603 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to expand its Digital Library on American Slavery (DLAS).
The grant will allow the University Libraries team, led by Richard Cox and David Gwynn, to digitize nearly 10,000 North Carolina slave deeds and bills of sale, create a comprehensive database for the digitized records and transcribe the full text of these documents.
The project, called “People Not Property – Slave Deeds of North Carolina,” is a collaboration between University Libraries, the North Carolina Division of Archives and Records, the North Carolina Registers of Deeds, the Afro-American Genealogical Society, web developers, elected officials and others.
“This is an important expansion for DLAS in a number of ways,” said Cox, digital technology consultant for University Libraries. “It delves deeper into the history of North Carolina and the role of slavery in the state’s history, while at the same time becoming a template that other states may use in the future. Additionally, it complements the important stories and genealogical information about African Americans already within DLAS.”
DLAS is an expanding resource compiling various independent online collections focused on race and slavery in the American South, made searchable through a single, simple interface. It houses one of the largest databases of slave names on the internet, and has been used by historians, genealogists and other scholars and researchers across the world, including Colson Whitehead, author of the Pulitzer-winning novel “The Underground Railroad.”
To learn more and to view the digital library, visit library.uncg.edu/slavery.
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Image provided by University Libraries