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Sources of personal narratives by enslaved people and other primary source documents related to slavery in Colonial and Post-Colonial America
This is a selected list of collections that include searchable, digitized sources. The digitized materials consist of files in standard text (PDF, TXT; full-text searchable) and image (GIF, TIFF) formats.
Keywords to try: auction, sold, sell, sale
African American Women: Digitized Archival Material
A small compilation of primary source materials located at Duke University's John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.
American Slavery Documents Collection
A collection of printed and manuscript materials relating to African and African American history, assembled by David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University. Researchers can view items that document sales, escapes, and emancipations of slaves from colonial times through the Civil War, and to a lesser extent, materials relating to slavery in the United States dating from the post-emancipation period.
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
The product of a WPA project in the 1930s and now held at the Library of Congress, "Born into Slavery" is arguably the most significant collection of documents that record the direct experiences of formerly enslaved people in the United States. A large portion of the collection has been digitized and made available for full-text searching and download.
Documenting the American South: North American Slave Narratives
"North American Slave Narratives" is a documentary series under UNC-Chapel Hill's NEH-funded project "Documenting the American South."
Documenting the American South: A Scholarly Bibliography of Slave and Ex-Slave Narratives
Based on the work of "North American Slave Narratives" Series Editor William L. Andrews, this bibliography compiles citations of known North American Slave Narratives. It is composed of three sections, which correspond to the three basic kinds of slave narratives: autobiographical, biographical, and fictionalized.
PBS.org's "Slavery and the Making of America"
This is a guide to digitized primary sources related to slavery, published as part of PBS.org's "Thirteen" documentary website.
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