Thursday, January 29, 2009

African American History online

From Legacy News, 29 Jan 2009:New African American History Collection Now OnlineOver a million pages of original documents, letters and photos, most digitized for the first time.
Lindon, UT - January 29, 2009 – In celebration of Black History Month, is launching its African American Collection. has been working with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C., to digitize records that provide a view into the lives of African Americans that few have seen before.
“These records cover subjects including slavery, military service, and issues facing African Americans dating back to the late 18th century,” explains James Hastings, Director of Access Programs at NARA. “Making these records available online will help people to better understand the history and sacrifice that took place in this country.” has spent the last two years with NARA compiling this collection and is currently working on adding more records that will be released in the upcoming months. African American records currently on include:
Service Records for Colored Troops in the Civil War – Records for the 2nd-13th infantries including enlistment papers, casualty sheets, oaths of allegiance, proof of ownership and bills of sale. American Colonization Society – Letters and reports relating to this colony established in 1817 for free people of color residing in the U.S. Amistad Case – Handwritten records of this landmark case beginning in 1839 involving the Spanish schooner Amistad, used to transport illegal slaves. Southern Claims Commission – Petitions for compensation resulting from the Civil War. “The Southern Claims Commission records are a very rich, often overlooked resource for African American family research. They often contain information that cannot be found anywhere else,” says Toni Carrier, Founding Director of the USF Africana Heritage Project. “These records document the experiences of former slaves during the Civil War and in the days immediately after. Many contain detailed narratives that make it possible for descendants to envision the lives and experiences of ancestors.” is also working on additional record collections that will be released shortly. Read more here.

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