In 1984, Dr. Gwendolyn Hall began developing a database of genealogical and historic information about 100,000 slaves brought into the Louisiana area during the 18th and 19th centuries. Dr. Hall spent years poring over these documents to compile what is perhaps the largest searchable archive of this type of information from the region. Many of the original documents can be viewed on the website. They describe in chilling detail the shipping and inventory information that was meticulously recorded by French and Spanish human-traffickers and their American buyers–records of their “property” for tax and business purposes.
As we celebrate Black History Month this February, ibiblio is both proud and humbled to be able to provide such an accessible window into the darkest chapter of this country’s past. From the archive’s website:
There are many who have a stake in being able to freely access this data, from historians, genealogists, anthropologists, geneticists and linguists, to Americans seeking keys to their past. Dr. Hall shares with others an interest in seeing that her research and databases reach the broadest possible audience.
As you browse, for whatever purpose brings you this site, we hope the content within will help you remember the darkness of our past, acknowledge challenges of the present, and strive for the hope of our future.