To kick off African American History Month, we’ll first talk about the Library of Virginia (LVA).
TODAY – the initial release of this database is supposed to occur. I am so excited to see this that I am blogging about it in advance! As soon as I have an active link to the database, I will update this post.
In the meantime, this database has been supported by a crowdsourced transcription project called Virginia Untold: African American Narrative (this is the link to the transcription page where you can assist in getting these documents transcribed).
The names of millions of African Americans, slave and free, who lived, worked, worshiped, loved, and died in Virginia, are buried deep in the archival records and manuscript collections housed at the Library of Virginia. Untold
: African American Narrative seeks to find these long silent voices. Whether contained in local court and state government records, private papers and business records, or newspapers and journals from the time, the untold narrative of a people is waiting to be discovered. Virginia
In support of this new database, there have been a series of blog posts talking about select types of records that will be included:
- Virginia Untold: Freedom Suits
- Virginia Untold: Certificates of Importation
- Virginia Untold: Requisitions for Public Use
- Virginia Untold: Deeds of Emancipation and Manumission
There is also a helpful related page where the Library of Virginia staff have compiled the raw date for databases part of the African American Narrative. These indexes are presented as comma separate value (CSV) files (will open in Microsoft Excel or similar programs). These files are a great way to see all of the data for each identified database in one place.
- Certificates of Importation (csv)
- Coroner's Inquisitions (csv)
- Deeds of Emancipation (csv)
- Free Negro Registrations (csv)
- Free Negro Requisitions for Public Use (csv)
- Free Negro Tax Records (csv)
- Freedman's Contracts (csv)
- Freedom Suits (csv)
- Indentures of Apprenticeship (csv)
- Petitions for Reenslavement (csv)
- Petitions to Remain in the Commonwealth (csv)
- Slave Requisitions for Public Use (csv)
Do you know of any planned database releases this month as we celebrate African American History Month?
Did you discover a key find in this new LVA database?
Editor’s Note: Related posts ...
o Rosenwald Schools & post Civil War African Americans -- a disappearing legacy that need your support (2015)
o African-American research doesn't only happen in February -- some new resources to check out! (2014)
o What's the truth behind the legend in many African American families about having a Native American ancestor? (2014)
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