Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade (Enslaved.org) chronicles the lives of those who enslaved individuals, emancipated slaves, worked as slaves or connected to the slave trade. The site consists of 600,000 records of these individuals that are connected through the transatlantic slave trade. Enslaved.org seeks to humanize the number of individuals who experienced the slave trade by sharing their stories through an open-source database. Users are allowed to search the site by people, places, events, sources and visualizations.

A highlight of the site are the visualizations underneath the Explore link that provide users with tables and pie charts of demographic information about those involved in the slave trade. For example, places have subcategories that list what type of occupation employed individuals. This information could help world history teachers develop lesson plans to compare the number of individuals engaged in each occupation to explore how the slave trade changed over time.

Enslaved.org also extracts data from the site to publish in the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation. Under the Data link completed and upcoming projects are listed that utilize data from Enslaved.org. The completed projects include data extracted from a Free Black Database in New Orleans that focuses on 1840 to 1860 and a more expansive Louisiana Slave Database from 1719 to 1820. These databases offer teachers a method to chronicle long-term changes in the slave trade. Some of the upcoming data sets include Africans in Rio de Janeiro: Burials and Residences, 1870-1888 (Flavio Gomes); Free Africans Disappearance Ads, 1834-1861 (Daryle Williams); and They Had Names: Representations of the Enslaved in Liberty County, Georgia, Estate Inventories, 1762-1865 (Stacy Ashmore Cole).

The site also contains narratives and photographs of twelve slave interviews conducted as a part of the Federal Writers Project in 1937. These interviews provide first-hand accounts from individuals who lived as enslaved early in life. The site includes an overview and biography of each interviewee. Scholars framed and used these interviews to publish books and articles which are linked to the narrative.

The site also uses existing datasets to extract data and connect slave stories and narratives. This interconnection among datasets could help teachers discuss how individuals may have lived in the Americas during the seventh and eighteenth centuries. Enslaved.org also includes datasets that explore slavery from an international perspective. Project Stories under the Learn link contain datasets of slave experiences in Africa, Brazil and Great Britain. This data could assist teachers in developing a curriculum that examines slavery from a world history approach. Students could investigate how slavery evolved in countries outside the U.S.

Enslaved.org is maintained by the University of Maryland and Michigan State University with funding from the Mellon Foundation. Since the site has multiple datasets, the search feature could provide more keyword options for users such as ship names. Overall, the site is a unique and informative collection of qualitative and quantitative data that provides users with extensive information about the slave trade.

Reviewed by Nancy Murray, George Mason University
How to Cite This Source
Nancy Murray, Enslaved Archive in World History Commons,