Biographies of Fugitive Slaves On the Underground Railroad

In development: a database of biographical information for fugitive slaves on the Underground Railroad. “William Still, Philadelphia’s famed Underground Railroad conductor, maintained a detailed journal that listed biographical data for some 400 fugitive slaves he assisted in the 1850s. At the time, discovery of the journal could have endangered hundreds of freed slaves and their families. But more than 150 years later, researchers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania hope the document can better reveal the networks that comprised the Underground Railroad.”

Slave Trade Database to Be Expanded

Gregory O’Malley has gotten a grant to expand his slave trade database. “Now with the help of a $220,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a project titled Final Passages: The Intra-American Slave Trade Database, O’Malley plans to add his research to the Voyages database. The project will create an interactive, free Web-based database about the slave trade within the Americas and integrate it into the Voyages site.”

Using 3D Modeling to Map the Atlantic Slave Trade

From Using 3D modeling to map the Atlantic slave trade. “The project’s goal is to create digital models of 10 cultural heritage sites, spread across western Africa and the Americas, using 3D point clouds generated by LiDAR and photogrammetry technology. These models will then be placed into a free online library for public access, much like the Smithsonian’s X 3D program.” This is another project of CyArk, which I mentioned earlier this week.

New Digital Archive of the Freddie Gray Protests

The Maryland Historical Archive has launched a digital archive of the Freddie Gray protests. “On Thursday, the society announced the launch of the website … which offers a searchable database of thousands of videos, photos, oral accounts, and written documents that provide a look at a range of perspectives from the unrest following Mr. Gray’s death in police custody last April.”

The Influence and Limitations of Black Twitter

From Columbia Journalism Review — The Influence and Limitations of Black Twitter. “That term, as many by now know, unofficially refers to a sprawling network of African American Twitter users that has emerged as a serious media force in recent years. It has been a consistent megaphone for news and reactions to police killings, while hashtag campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatter and #OscarsSoWhite have led to wide-ranging public discussions on race and privilege. Users have not only highlighted a large, previously overlooked audience for coverage of issues affecting black communities, but also new talent for media organizations to recruit.”

Library of Congress In Reddit “Ask Me Anything” on March 29th (Rosa Parks Papers)

Usually when you think of a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” you think of famous people, politicians, etc. This one you might like. There will be an AMA on the Rosa Parks Papers held by the Library of Congress on March 29th. “During the Reddit AMA experts from the Library of Congress Manuscripts Division, the Prints & Photographs Division, and Educational Outreach will take your questions about Rosa Parks and about how the Library cataloged, preserved, digitized, and made her papers available to the world.”

Chronicling Toronto’s Black Artists With Instagram

A man in Toronto is using Instagram to curate a database of Black artists in Toronto. “[Danilo] McCallum is building what he calls an Instagram database, a profile called Black Canvas 101, that will feature images from the Toronto artists and organizations that have built the scene into a vibrant community.” Oddly enough I didn’t see Mr. McCallum’s Instagram address on this article! He’s at .

Cornell University Developing National Database of Historical Runaway Slave Advertisements

Cornell University is beginning a project to compile a national database of historical runaway slave advertisements. “The project, ‘Freedom on the Move’ (FOTM), aims to compile all North American runaway slave advertisements, never before systematically collected, into a collaborative database of information. The project will include new tools allowing partner institutions to add their own archives, opening up unprecedented ways to engage a large online community and to study this traumatic but critical period in U.S. history.”

University of Wyoming Creates Liz Byrd Digital Archive

The University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center has created a Liz Byrd archive. “Wyoming residents can now access online hundreds of photos and documents relating to the life of Liz Byrd, the first African-American woman to serve in the state Legislature. The materials include baby pictures dating back to the 1920s, photos of campaign materials from the 1980s and images from Byrd’s teaching and political careers, among many other documents.”

Some Facebook Employees Apparently Don’t Agree With “Black Lives Matter”

Facebook is having an issue with employees crossing out “Black Lives Matter” on its signature wall. “In a private memo posted on a company announcement page for employees only, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that employees have been scratching out ‘black lives matter’ (sic) and writing ‘all lives matter’ on the company’s famous signature wall. The company, whose staff is only 2 percent black, is facing the issue head on.”

New Databases Provide Information on Escaped Slaves

The New York Times has an article about several news database projects designed to provide information on the lives of escaped slaves. “These searchable listings indicate how often slaves managed to leave with their children, how some were able to pass for white and how many recaptured slaves kept trying to escape. Among the new website projects are Runaway Slaves in Britain, set up by the University of Glasgow, and Freedom on the Move, based at Cornell University and covering American newspapers.”

Pullman Porter Museum Creates Online Registry of African-American Railroad Laborers

The Pullman Porter Museum has created an online registry of African-American railroad laborers. “Once the registry launches, visitors to the museum’s website will be able to type a person’s last name into a search query to view entries from thousands of submissions spanning from California to Georgia.” The registry will launch this week. Please note the story I’m linking to is behind the Chicago Tribune paywall. If you have a subscription, there you go. If you don’t, you can get to the Pullman Porter Museum at

New Resource Portal for African-American Genealogy

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has launched a new resource portal for African-Americans. “To commemorate Black History Month in February, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has assembled a wealth of information in a single portal on its data rich website, offering important resources to the researcher of African American ancestry. The portal … features a NEHGS webinar and study guide about African American genealogy, and hints concerning researching African American and other minorities in online databases, as well as beautifully illustrated articles on several important African American historical figures, culled from the vast manuscript collection at NEHGS.”