History Celebrates New Show Roots With Project to Digitize Post-Slavery DocumentsBreaking News
tags: Roots, Reading for Roots
When immigrants came into the United States through Ellis Island or arrived on the Mayflower, it was all carefully documented so that today, family members can easily trace the arrival of their ancestors. For those with relatives that arrived on slave ships, it's much harder to trace, but a new campaign from History, "Reading for Roots," aims to help those families learn more about their ancestors by digitizing some of the important records and documents.
"Reading for Roots" was created around History's new show Roots—a four-night, eight-hour miniseries and one of Adweek's 12 TV shows you don't want to miss this summer—which debuts this weekend. As History was preparing to launch the show, it came across the Freedmen's Bureau Project, an initiative seeking to digitize all of the records from the Freedmen's Bureau.
With nearly 4 million slaves freed by emancipation, there were a high volume of documents detailing where they came from, who they worked for, who their families were, what their own names were and so on. The Freedmen's Bureau Project has been working to digitize all of these documents, asking volunteers to sign up and help index over one million documents.
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