Friday, June 22, 2018

Digital Resource: “Runaway Slaves in Britain” Database

The "Runaway Slaves in Eighteenth-Century Britain" project has created a searchable database of well over eight hundred newspaper advertisements placed by masters and owners seeking the capture and return of enslaved and bound people who had escaped. Many were of African descent, though a small number were from the Indian sub-continent and a few were Indigenous Americans. The principal sources for this project are English and Scottish newspapers published between 1700 and 1780. Although some have been digitized, the poor quality of surviving newsprint makes digital text searching unreliable, so project researchers have surveyed thousands of newspaper issues in archives all over Britain, some in their original print form as well as many more on microfilm or digital form. The database contains full transcriptions of the advertisements, and when possible photographic reproductions.
     The project is a product of the Department of History at the University of Glasgow, headed by Simon Newman; participating members include Stephen Mullen, Nelson Mundell, and Roslyn Chapman.