UNCG Slave Name Database Ensures The Past Is Not Forgotten

Aug 21, 2018

Uncle Marian, a slave of great notoriety, of North Carolina, seen in a daguerrotype circa 1850.
Credit Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Yale University

A team from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been working to identify the names of people who were made slaves in America through documents including wills and bills of sale. The Digital Library on American Slavery lists about 80,000 slaves, and is referenced by tens of thousands of users each month. 

Richard Cox is the digital technology consultant for UNC-Greensboro University Libraries and he heads the digital database initiative. He speaks with host Frank Stasio about the stories within the documents and what they reveal about history and the slave economy.

Cox is joined by Lisa Tolbert, a professor of history at UNC-Greensboro, who has been working with students to digitize runaway slave ads published in North Carolina newspapers. She talks about the importance of putting these remnants of American history in context.