Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New-York Historical Society Manuscript Collections on Slavery Digitized

The New-York Historical Society library has recently unveiled a digitized collection of manuscripts relating to slavery and the slave trade from its holdings. Economic historians of the subject can find much of interest here; as the NYHS introduction explains, the materials "consist of diaries, account books, letter books, ships’ logs, indentures, bills of sale, personal papers, and records of institutions," including an account book kept by the slave trading firm Bolton, Dickens & Co. 
Page from the account book of the Brig Othello,
slaving off the coast of Africa, 1768-1769 (NYHS)
Many materials relating to the abolitionist movement have also been made available, including "the records of the New York Manumission Society and the African Free School, the diaries and correspondence of English abolitionists Granville Sharp and John Clarkson, the papers of the Boston anti-slavery activist Lysander Spooner, the records of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, [and] the draft of Charles Sumner’s famous speech, 'The Anti-Slavery Enterprise'." Over 12,000 pages have been digitized.