Slavery and Anti-Slavery, Part III: The Institution of Slavery

Part III continues this ground-breaking series by examining the institution of slavery through legal documents, plantation records, personal accounts, newspapers, and government documents opening up opportunities for in-depth research on how enslaved people struggled to loosen the chains of slavery by whatever means necessary.



The largest and most ambitious project of its kind, Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive is a thematically organized, four-part historical archive devoted to the scholarly study and understanding of slavery from a multinational perspective. An unprecedented collection developed under the guidance of a board of scholars, it offers never before available research opportunities and endless teaching possibilities. This collection is the most comprehensive repository of resources related to slavery to date; it provides the seminal works needed by scholars in the field.

Further expanding the depth of coverage of the topic, Part III: The Institution of Slavery explores in vivid detail the inner workings of slavery from 1492-1888. Through legal documents, plantation records, first-person accounts, newspapers, government records and other primary sources, Part III reveals how enslaved people struggled against the institution. Sourced from the National Archives at Kew, the British Library, the U.S. National Archives  and the University of Miami, among others, these rare works explore such topics as slavery as a legal and labour system; the relationship between slavery and religion; freed slaves; the Shong Massacre; the Dememara insurrection; and many others.   

Significance: Slavery and Anti-Slavery, Part III: The Institution of Slavery is particularly strong in its significant coverage of Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean.

Part III examines the institution of slavery through legal documents, plantation records, personal accounts, newspapers, and government documents, opening up opportunities for in-depth research on how enslaved people struggled to loosen the chains of slavery by whatever means necessary. This unique grouping of primary source materials explores slavery as a labour and legal system, the relationship between master and slave, slavery and religion, free labour, and the lives of free African Americans.

Part III includes several key collections essential to the study of slavery:
  • Records of East Florida
  • Appellate Case File No. 3230, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 US 393 (19 Howard 393), Decided March 6, 1857 and Related Records
  • Benjamin Tappan Papers
  • Blair Family Papers, 1755-1968
  • J.F.H. Claiborne Papers, 1818-1885
  • James Henry Hammond Papers
  • John J. Crittenden Papers, 1783-1913
  • Official Transcripts of Reports on the State of the British Colonies in North America and the West Indies: 1721-1766
  • The National Anti-Slavery Standard
  • Journals of the Assembly of Jamaica
  • Records of the Senate Select Committee Investigating John Brown's Raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia
  • And so much more

Source: A truly unique resource, Part III was sourced from some of the world's most prominent libraries, including the U.K. National Archives in Kew, British Library, University of Miami, and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Structure: Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive is a thematically organized, historical archive presented in four parts.  In its entirety, Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive will consist of more than 5 million pages. Subsequent parts will focus on the evolving phases of slavery and, once completed, all parts will be cross-searchable through a single interface.