Slave Narratives: Search for Slave Narratives Online
Learning from Slave Narratives
Slave narratives are a remarkable historical and literary record, and thanks to a number of organizations, many are available online, where we can read, hear, and even see some of the men and women behind these stories. In this guide, you'll find slave narrative collections to browse that may include audio recordings, written transcripts, images, and more, but please note that not all formats exist for all narratives (due to the nature of their original recording or degradation of the material since that time). For further information on what each collection contains and searching tips, refer to the descriptions following the links below.
Guide to the Guide
Here's what you'll find on each page of this guide:
- Home - links to the main collections of slave narratives you'll find online, plus a few other resources from our library
- Analyzing Slave Narratives in Depth - links and activities for comparing and contrasting different slave narratives, with links to free digital tools to play around with text
- Exploring Slave Narratives in Context - links to extra collections of maps, images, and music related to the study of slave narratives
- Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives byISBN: 0783123396Publication Date: 2003This documentary features dramatic reenactments of interviews from Library of Congress's slave narrative collections, with actors such as Samuel L. Jackson and Oprah.
Main Sources for Slave Narratives
- Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their StoriesThis Library of Congress Collection contains 23 oral interviews from the Federal Writers' Project documenting slave narratives from 1936-1938. Includes transcripts and audio recordings (some unfortunately are not clearly audible) as well as additional content
- Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' ProjectA larger collection from the Library of Congress that contains over 2,300 slave narratives; includes photocopies of original transcripts and some images (does not include audio, separate collection from Voices)
- North American Slave NarrativesPart of NEH Initiative "Documenting the American South," this database includes slave narratives from the 18th-early 20th century in the forms of autobiographies, biographies, and fictionalized accounts; includes images, book/pamphlet citations (no audio recordings)
Other African American Collections
From GVSU library, check out our own African American Studies subject guide for more general research resources, which includes many of the resources in this guide as well as some of the following:
- African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full CitizenshipA special exhibit with documents and images from all of the Library of Congress' African American collections, to tell their stories from Slavery to Civil Rights
- Slavery and the Making of AmericaAn interactive exhibit on slavery from PBS - includes excerpts from slave narratives and other contextual resources such as maps, documents, images, recordings, etc.
- Digital Resources for the Study of Global Slavery and the Slave TradeThis is a list of digital resources and archival collections about slavery and the slave trade. Some are freely available and others are not.
- Remembering Slavery byISBN: 9781565845879Publication Date: 2000-04-01This book was the first publication of the Library of Congress' slave narratives collection, which included transcripts and a tape set of the narrative recordings (all these materials are now freely available online)
- Last Updated: Mar 22, 2023 8:24 AM
- URL: https://libguides.gvsu.edu/slavenarratives