Massive Data Project Will Help People Identify Enslaved Ancestors

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tags: slavery, Michigan State



A new project called “Enslaved: The People of the Historic Slave Trade” will give scholars and the public a massive resource to help search for enslaved people and their descendants in one source. 

As Brian McVicar at MLive.comreports, Michigan State University received a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop the online data hub linking together several important databases on enslaved people in the Americas. It will also allow users to analyze and create maps and charts of enslaved populations in the United States.

According to a press release, it will take 18 months to build a proof-of-concept version of the project, which will pull from eight major online databases. “By linking data compiled by some of the world’s foremost historians, it will allow scholars and the public to learn about individuals’ lives and to draw new, broad conclusions about processes that had an indelible impact on the world,” says project co-investigator Walter Hawthorne, professor and chair of MSU’s Department of History. 

Read entire article at Smithsonian

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