WashU & Slavery in Context

Our project is inspired and informed by numerous efforts to address global and local legacies of slavery.

Highlighted Projects

Universities Studying Slavery

Universities Studying Slavery (USS) is a multi-institutional collaboration sharing best practices and guiding principles about truth-telling projects addressing human bondage and racism in institutional histories. Washington University in St. Louis is one of the more than seventy-five institutional members of this global consortium.



Enslaved.org compiles numerous datasets to reconstruct the lives of people involved in the historical slave trade, enabling users to browse interconnected data, generate visualizations, and explore short biographies of enslaved and freed peoples.


Slave Voyages

SlaveVoyages.org is a digital memorial comprising nearly 50,000 Trans-Atlantic and Intra-American slaving expeditions, providing information about vessels, routes, and the people they involved. As this consortium has not yet documented voyages on the Mississippi River and its tributaries, the WashU & Slavery Project might help recover and integrate records of these expeditions.


Freedom on the Move

Freedom on the Move is a crowd-sourced database of fugitives from North American slavery, using newspaper wanted ads to "rediscover the stories of self-liberating people." The database of over 30,000 advertisements is intended to serve as a research aid, a pedagogical tool, and a resource for genealogists. There are presently no records in the collection from Missouri or Illinois newspapers. The WashU & Slavery Project can help recover and preserve those records and their stories.


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