Families torn apart by slavery sought lost loved ones in newly archived ads

From Families torn apart by slavery sought lost loved ones in newly archived ads. “The goal of ‘Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery’ is an online database of these snapshots from history, which hold names of former slaves, owners, traders, plantation locations, and relatives gone missing. So far, project researchers have uploaded and transcribed 1,000 ads published in six newspapers from 1863 to 1902: the South Carolina Leader in Charleston, the Colored Citizen in Cincinnati, the Free Man’s Press in Galveston, the Black Republican in New Orleans, the Colored Tennessean in Nashville, and the Christian Recorder, the official organ of the African Methodist Episcopal Church denomination published at Mother Bethel.”

Cornell Digitizes Collection of African-American Photography

Cornell has digitized a collection of African-American photography. “The Loewentheil Collection of African-American Photographs, part of Beth and Stephan Loewentheil’s 2012 donation of photography to Cornell University Library, contains a trove of vital information about African-American life… The photographs include tintypes of freed slaves and personal family photo albums, dating from the 1850s to the mid-20th century. They encompass daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, carte-de-visite photographs, albumen prints, Polaroids and more.”

New Web Site Maps Lynchings in the United States

A new Web site maps lynching victims in the United States. “In total, in the century after the Civil War, as many as 5,000 people of color were lynched by mobs in the United States. In the 1890s, on average, nine people were lynched each month. A new website documents each known death on a map, often along with gruesome details about the killing and the size of the crowd.”

Digital Archive Already Started for Last Weekend Protests

A digital archive has already been started for the protests which took place last Saturday. From the “About Us” page: “The Trump Protest Archive is an entirely self funded digital archiving project, collecting items of material culture from protest events relating to the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. The Trump Protest Archive was founded by Eric Nolan Gonzaba (left), a PhD candidate in American history at George Mason University.”

CIA’s Declassified Documents Database (Finally) Goes Online

The CIA has put its declassified documents database online. “Back in December, we wrote about how the CIA would be placing its previously-inaccessible CREST database online. The move was a response to our lawsuit, handled pro bono by with Kel McClanahan of National Security Counselors, as well as Mike Best’s diligence in trying to manually print and scan the archive. Today, we’re happy to announce that all 25 years worth of declassified documents are now available – no trip to the National Archives required.”

Massachusetts Historical Society Adds Seven New Collections

The Massachusetts Historical Society has added seven new online collections. “The seven collections range from small (one thin folder of documents kept by the Juvenile Anti-Slavery Society records) to large (7,534 images of records kept by the Woman’s Education Association) and date from 1827 (Society for the Employment of the Female Poor Trustees’ reports) to the 1930s (Rose Dabney Forbes papers as well as the Woman’s Education Association records).”

Nat Turner Digital Archive Launched

Now available: a Web site about enslaved African American Nat Turner. “The new hub is believed to be a first for this controversial yet historically significant individual. It includes newspaper articles, court documents, maps, interviews with slaves and slaveholders, as well as other information about Turner’s life, and times.”

Colonial Williamsburg to Make Digital Library Free

Colonial Williamsburg will grant free access to its digital library. “According to a news release, the Colonial Williamsburg Education Resource Library, which includes educational videos and supporting course content, will be made available free online beginning Aug. 16…. The library contains 800 minutes of video, including 27 productions that garnered 16 Emmys, and more than 100 lesson plans, background texts and primary source media, the release stated.”

In Development: Online Museum for Buffalo Soldiers

New-to-me and in development: an online museum about Buffalo Soldiers. From the site: “The Buffalo Soldiers’ Online Museum, founded by Major Andrew Aaron Jr., informs, unites, and educates the general public on the history of The Buffalo Soldiers. The Buffalo Soldiers was a regiment of the United States Army commissioned in 1866 and decommissioned in 1951 and focused on the individual histories of these men of valor. Our online museum provides a tour, video and pictures, as well as, a personal bibliography of Major Andrew Aaron, Jr.” I actually found out about the museum via an article about Mr. Aaron.

Martin Van Buren Papers at the Library of Congress

Over at the Library of Congress, the Martin Van Buren papers have hit the Web. “The Martin Van Buren Papers, one of twenty-three presidential collections in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, contains more than 6,000 items dating from 1787 to circa 1910. The bulk of the material dates from the 1820s, when Van Buren (1782-1862) was a U.S. senator from New York, through his service as secretary of state and vice president in the Andrew Jackson administrations (1829-1837), to his own presidency (1837-1841) and through the decade thereafter when he made unsuccessful bids to return to the presidency with the Democratic and Free Soil parties. Included are correspondence, autobiographical materials, notes and other writings, drafts of messages to Congress in 1837 and 1838, and other speeches, legal and estate records, miscellany, and family items.”

The “Colored Conventions” of 19th Century US History

New-to-me: a Web site with information on the “Colored Conventions” in 19th century United States history. “From 1830 until well after the Civil War, free and fugitive Blacks came together in state and national political ‘Colored Conventions.’ Before the war, they strategized about how to achieve educational, labor and legal justice at a moment when Black rights were constricting nationally and locally. And after the war, they continued to convene to discuss local, national and international possibilities, problems and challenges.” The site is looking for help with transcriptions.

William Henry Seward Papers Go Online

The papers of William Henry Seward and his family are now online. “Seward is often remembered for his role in the US purchase of Alaska. But his influence, most historians agree, was much greater. He was a trial attorney, state senator, US senator, governor of New York, and an influential secretary of state to President Abraham Lincoln. Seward was targeted for assassination along with Lincoln, but survived with serious injuries.”