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.”
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.”
In development: a cardiovascular disease registry for African-Americans. “The database will import data directly from electronic health records, enabling researchers to analyze trends and develop more effective, targeted treatments for African-American patients.”
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 https://www.instagram.com/danilotheartist/ .
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.”
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.”
The Library of Congress has digitized its Rosa Parks collection and put it online. “The collection contains 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photographs related to Parks, who made headlines on Dec. 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala.”
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.”
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 http://www.pullmanportermuseum.com/.
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.”