Noon-Time Talk: Documenting Slavery and Freedom

Feb 21, 12pm - 1pm

Noon-Time Talk: Documenting Slavery and Freedom  photo

Gwen Gosney Erickson, Guilford College Archivist and Librarian, and Richard Cox, UNCG Digital Technology Consultant, share their experiences preserving and making publicly accessible primary source materials like letters, newspaper articles, and deeds that document anti-slavery and slavery activities in Greensboro and in North Carolina. 

As Friends Historical Collection Librarian and College Archivist, Gwen Gosney Erickson manages the special collections unit of Guilford College, which includes anti-slavery related Quaker documents and letters. Guilford’s campus is notable for its history as a school and as land where local African Americans worked with New Garden Quakers, including famed Quaker abolitionist Levi Coffin, to implement Underground Railroad activities. Enslaved Africans escaped to the Guilford College Woods, where they were supported in their flight to freedom. Guilford is one of the few college campuses listed by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a National Historic District and is part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Richard Cox will share the origins of the Digital Library on American Slavery project at UNCG and how individuals may use it for research and teaching. The DLAS is an extensive collection of legislative and county court petitions, runaway slave ads, insurance registries, deeds, and trade voyages is the largest single index to slave-related public documents from the pre-Civil war era from the Southern states, and the largest collection of African American names from that period. 

This program is held in conjunction with the Sanford Biggers exhibition on view December 16, 2017- April 8, 2018. Support is provided by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. 

Image: Anti-slavery needle case, Harriet Peck Papers, Friends Historical Collection, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC.

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