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21H.281: MIT and Slavery: Research: Non-MIT Sources

Databases and Resources

ArchiveGrid: includes over 5 million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. With over 1,000 different archival institutions represented, ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.

Colored Conventions: State and national political meetings from 1830 until the 1890s of already free and once captive Black people.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The Geography of Slavery in Virginia

History Databases from the Boston Public Library (BPL): Anyone who lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts is eligible for a BPL card or e-card to access electronic resources, including the Archive of Americana collection of early American primary sources.

History Databases at Harvard Libraries: MIT faculty, students, and researchers with a Special Borrower Card can visit the Harvard Libraries and use electronic resources on-site. Harvard has over 200 online resources in history, including dozens of primary source databases.

Jefferson’s University – the Early Life Project, 1819-1870 (JUEL)

Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

Slave Societies Digital Archive

Transatlantic Slave Trade Database

Umbra Search – African American History: provides specialized access to African American history related content across library, archives, and special collections in the U.S.

Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names, Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Image Sources

Bostonian Society The online catalog represents the Bostonian Society's library, archival, photograph, and object collections holdings.

Digital Commonwealth An online library of photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings, and other materials of historical interest held by Massachusetts libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies, and archives. 

Library of Congress Holdings include digital collections, and prints and photographs

Library of Virginia Digital Collections

Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division The Photographs and Prints Division contains both documentary and fine art photographs, which document the history and culture of people of African descent worldwide as well as the work of photographers of African descent. The collection of over 300,000 images ranges from mid-eighteenth century graphics to contemporary documentary and art photography.

Online Primary Sources Accessible via MIT Libraries

The following are available by using Vera. Resources in Vera can be accessed by using public computers in MIT Libraries locations, and by member of the MIT community using Touchstone Authentication.

  • African American Newspapers, 1827-19998
  • African American Periodicals, 1800-1922
  • American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection
  • American Periodicals Series Online, 1740-1940
  • Atlanta Constitution Historical Archive
  • Baltimore Sun Historical Archive, 1837-1991
  • Black Abolitionist Papers 
  • Boston Globe, 1980-present 
  • Boston Globe Historical Archive 
  • Chicago Defender Historical Archive, 1910-1975
  • Chicago Tribune Historical Archive 
  • Detroit Free Press Historical Archive, 1831-1922
  • Historical Statistics of the United States (HSUS) [Millennial Edition] 
  • New York Times Historical Archive

Museums and Historic Sites

The African American Freedom Trail Project at Tufts University – maps out the early history of black communities in and around Boston, MA

International Slavery Museum – Liverpool, UK

The Middle Passage – Boston African American National Historic Site, National Parks Service

Museum of African American History – the historic African Meeting House and the Smith School

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

The Robbins House – Concord, MA

The Royall House and Slave Quarters – Medford, MA