Archivists race to digitize slavery records before the history is lost

The story includes an interview with Dr. Katrina Keefer of Trent University (in Canada), who came to realize that records of captured Africans’ facial scarification in African archives could help to identify the ethnic origins of African-Americans descended from enslaved people.

The era of the trans-Atlantic slavery is documented in archives in former colonies around the world. Now, just as there’s the most potential to use those documents to fill in large gaps in history, some of those archives are at risk of being lost.

The Enslaved: People of the Atlantic Slave Trade project is “an attempt to gather research about historic slavery in one place. Until now, much of that information has only been in books or museums, or scattered in corners of the internet in different languages, hidden behind broken links. The Enslaved project is standardizing all that information, so it’ll be searchable and accessible.”

See also: Voyages (slave trade database; open access online).

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