Thursday, January 20, 2011

“THS Blog” on Indentures and Inventories

Over at The Historical Society's blog, Dan Allosso has posted two interesting pieces on “Reading Primary Sources.” The first deals with indentures and the second with estate inventories. He provides a hands-on description of his work with these documents, the uses to which they can be put, and the ideas for further research they suggest.
   Those who wish to use original indenture and estate documents for teaching purposes can find a number of them online. For example:
Virtual Jamestown has a database of over 15,000 indentured servants' contracts from the London, Middlesex, and Bristol Registers.
Lowcountry Africana is in the process of digitizing estate records and bills of sale from South Carolina, 1732-1872.
The Center for History and New Media houses a database collected by Gunston Hall Plantation of over 300 probate inventories from Maryland and Virginia, 1740-1810.
In addition to these larger sites, many genealogy pages, museums, and state and local archives have posted individual examples, which can be found through on-line searching.
Update, 1/27/11: Allosso has added another post in the series, on the development of banknotes in the United States. An earlier post on The Exchange highlighted currency as art and provided links to other relevant sites.