FW: Announcement of Slave Narratives Collections on American Memo ry
- fyi..the American Memory site at the Library of Congress continues to add to
its amazining online riches...aj wright // ajwright@...
The Library of Congress National Digital Library Program announces the
release of the online collection, "Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives
from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938, at the American Memory Web
site at: <http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/>
"Born in Slavery" is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints
and Photographs Divisions of the Library of Congress. More than 2,300
first-person accounts of slavery comprising over 9,500 page images with
searcheable text, bibliographic records and 500 black-and-white
photographs of former slaves are now available. More than 200
photographs are included from the Prints and Photographs Division that
are now made available to the public for the first time. The
photographs of former slaves are linked to their corresponding
The Federal Writers' Project (FWP) originally made no plans for
collecting slave autobiographies and reminiscences. Interviews with
former slaves were undertaken spontaneously after the inception of the
FWP and were included among the activities of several Southern Writers'
Projects for almost a year before these isolated efforts were
transformed into a concerted regional project, coordinated by the
national headquarters of the FWP in Washington, D.C. On April 1, 1937,
the collection of slave narratives formally began with the dispatch of
instructions to all Southern and border states directing their Writers'
Project workers to the task of interviewing former slaves. Today, the
Slave Narrative Collection provides a unique and virtually unsurpassed
collective portrait of a historical population.
This online collection features an extensive introductory essay by
Norman R. Yetman of the University of Kansas which includes information
about the interviewers, the people interviewed, and the processes of
collection and compilation, as well as a wealth of fascinating stories
and candid portraits of former slaves. The digitization of the
collection was made possible by a major gift from the Citigroup
Please direct any questions to ndlpcoll@...