Thursday, February 25, 2010

Black History Month Featured Database


Thanks to a unique partnership, many publications in the Oberlin College Library’s renowned anti-slavery collection are now available online. Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive (SAS) is a new online research collection devoted to the transatlantic history of slavery. The database contains over 1.5 million searchable pages from newspapers, books, serials, legal documents, court records, manuscripts, private correspondence, and other archival documents from the antebellum era. Part I: Debates over Slavery and Abolition is the first part of this extensive resource to come online. It documents the debates surrounding slavery and its abolition in the U.S. but also in the UK and other European countries, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa.

Oberlin began building the antislavery collection within just a few years of its founding in 1833. Over time, the collection has grown to an impressive resource of nearly 3,000 items. In collaboration with Gale Cengage Learning, a publisher of online databases and reference works, digital versions of these rare and often fragile documents were created. SAS also contains substantial content from other important collections, including the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, and Oxford University. Brought together, these collections form the world’s largest archive on the history of slavery, including materials published not only in America, but also England, Europe, and other parts of the world.

To assist researchers, essays, research guides, and subject outlines have been added. Three additional modules are planned for future release, covering the slave trade in the Atlantic world, slavery in the U.S., and emancipation. When the final part is released in 2013, SAS will include over 5 million pages.

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