Research Resources

Below I've assembled a number of  digital resources useful for those working in the fields of African diaspora studies, African American literature, and the comparative history of slavery. In addition to archival collections and databases, they include bibliographic resources, book series, scholarly projects, and relevant events.


The project on the history of black writing

Founded and directed by Professor Maryemma Graham at the University of Kentucky since 1983, the PHBW maintains a database of over 1,000 novels by African American writers and an active blog, and supports numerous iniatives including the Black Literary Suite and Black Book Interactive Project.

Early Caribbean Digital Archive

Partnered with the Digital Library of the Caribbean and housed in Northeastern University’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks (NULabTMN),  a highly interactive digital scholars lab for the collaborative research and study of pre-20th-century Caribbean literature. 

The black atlantic reconsidered

Companion site to Winfried Siemerling's book The Black Atlantic Reconsidered: Black Canadian Writing, Cultural History, and the Presence of the Past (McGill-Queens UP, 2015), including historical documents, information about authors, scholarly and newspaper articles, and other relevant websites.

Harriet Tubman Resource Center on the african diaspora

Supported by York University, the Tubman Resource Center houses the Studies in the History of the African Diaspora-Documents (SHADD), which publishes translations of rare manuscripts in Arabic, French, Portuguese, English, Spanish and other languages relevant to the history of the African diaspora.

Slave societies digital archive

Directed by Jane Landers and hosted at Vanderbilt University, preserves endangered ecclesiastical and secular documents related to Africans and African-descended peoples in slave societies. This Digital Archive currently holds 500,000 unique images, dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Fictions of the haitian Revolution

A digital anthology of Haitian revolutionary fictions published in the Atlantic world in French, English, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and German, created and maintained by Marlene Daut (UVA) as a companion to her book Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865 (Liverpool UP, 2015).

docsouth north american slave narratives

A complete digitized library of autobiographies and biographies of North American slaves and ex-slaves from the beginnings to 1920—along with extensive bibliographies—created and maintained by William L. Andrews (UNC-Chapel Hill). UNC Press has begun issuing some of these narratives as print and ebooks, available here.

Slave narratives from the federal writers' project, 1936 to 1938

Contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves.  These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Black british women writers

Website dedicated to the literary art of women writers of African and African-Caribbean descent living in Britain. It introduces these authors, the criticism their work has generated and some of the scholars who have produced this criticism; it also provides information about relevant past and future activities.