Slave Narratives Collection

Related Resources

In American Memory | Additional Resources in the Library of Congress
Related External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

In American Memory

Collections Illustrating the African-American Experience

The African-American Experience in Ohio: Selections from the Ohio Historical Society

African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907

African-American Sheet Music, 1850-1920: Selected from the Collections of Brown University

First-Person Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1822-1909

Maps of Liberia, 1830-1870

"Now What a Time": Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943


Collections from the New Deal Era

America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA and OWI, ca. 1935-1945

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940

By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943

California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties

Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937-1942

The New Deal Stage: Selections from the Federal Theatre Project, 1935-1939

Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip

Voices from the Dust Bowl: the Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection, 1940-1941


Additional Resources in the Library of Congress

African-American History and Culture (from Library of Congress Manuscripts: An Illustrated Guide)

The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture

American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Abolition & Suffrage

Images of African-American Slavery and Freedom from the Collections of the Library of Congress


Related External Web Sites

NOTE: The Library of Congress does not maintain these Internet sites. Users should direct concerns about these links to their respective site administrators or Web masters.

African-American Women: On-line Archival Collections
Durham, N.C.: The Digital Scriptorium, Special Collections Library, Duke University, 1997.

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology
Charlottesville: American Studies Hypertexts at the University of Virginia, University of Virginia, 1998.

American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography
Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record
Charlottesville: The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and The Digital Media Lab at the University of Virginia Library.

"Been Here So Long": Selections from the WPA American Slave Narratives
New York: New Deal Network, Columbia University, 2000.

Annotated Documents about Slavery
Houston, Tex.: Gilder Lehrman Slavery Collection, University of Houston.

Missouri Slave Narratives
St. Louis: African Missouri, University of Missouri.

North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920
Chapel Hill: Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998.

Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation
Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1999.

Testimony of the Canadian Fugitives (ca. 1850)
Groningen, Netherlands: From Revolution to Reconstruction, University of Groningen, 1997.

Through the Lens of Time: Images of African Americans from the Cook Collection
Richmond: VCU Libraries' Online Exhibits, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2000.


Selected Bibliography

Slave Narratives

Andrews, William L., and Henry Louis Gates Jr., eds. Six Women's Slave Narratives. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

-----, eds. Slave Narratives. New York: Library of America, 2000.

Baker, T. Lindsay, and Julie P. Baker, eds. Till Freedom Cried Out: Memories of Texas Slave Life. College Station: Texas A. & M. University Press, 1977.

-----, eds. The WPA Oklahoma Slave Narratives. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996.

Berlin, Ira, Marc Favreau, and Steven F. Miller, eds. Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk about Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation. New York: The New Press, 1998.

Billington, Ray Allen, ed. The Journal of Charlotte Forten: A Free Negro in the Slave Era. New York: Norton, 1981.

Blassingame, John W., ed. Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977.

Botkin, B. A., ed. Lay My Burden Down: A Folk History of Slavery. New York: Delta, 1994.

Browne, Martha Griffith. Autobiography of a Female Slave. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998.

Cook, Charles Orson, and James M. Poteet, eds. "’Dem Was Black Times, Sure ’Nough’: The Slave Narratives of Lydia Jefferson and Stephen Wiliams." Louisiana History 20 (Summer 1979): 281-92.

Curtin, Philip D., ed. Africa Remembered: Narratives by West Africans from the Era of the Slave Trade. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967.

Douglass, Frederick. Autobiographies: Narrative of the Life; My Bondage and My Freedom; Life and Times. New York: Library of America, 1994.

Ferguson, Moira, ed. The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave--Related By Herself. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., and Charles T. Davis, eds. The Slave's Narrative. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Hurmence, Belinda, ed. Before Freedom, When I Just Can Remember: Twenty-Seven Oral Histories of Former South Carolina Slaves. Winston-Salem, N.C.: J. F. Blair, 1989.

-----, ed. My Folks Don’t Want Me to Talk about Slavery: Twenty-One Oral Histories of Former North Carolina Slaves. Winston-Salem, N.C.: J.F. Blair, 1984.

Jacobs, Harriet. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987.

Killion, Ronald, and Charles Waller, eds. Slavery Time When I Was Chillun Down on Marster's Plantation. Savannah: Beehive Press, 1973.

Mellon, James, ed. Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988.

Meltzer, Milton. The Black Americans: A History in Their Own Words, 1619-1983. New York: Harper and Row, 1984.

Osofsky, Gilbert, ed. Puttin' On Ole Massa. The Slave Narratives of Henry Bibb, William Wells Brown and Solomon Northup. New York: Harper and Row, 1969.

Perdue, Charles L., Jr., Thomas E. Barden, and Robert K. Phillips, eds. Weevils in the Wheat: Interviews with Virginia Ex-Slaves. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1992.

Porter, Dorothy, ed. Early Negro Writing 1760-1837. Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1994.

Rawick, George P., et al., eds. The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography. 41 vols. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1972-79.

Taylor, Susie King. A Black Woman's Civil War Memoirs: Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops, Late 1st South Carolina Volunteers. Edited by Patricia W. Romero, with a new introduction by Willie Lee Rose. Princeton, N.J.: Markus Wiener, 1988.

Taylor, Yuval, ed. I Was Born a Slave: An Anthology of Classic Slave Narratives. 2 vols. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1999.

Tyler, Ronnie C., and Lawrence R. Murphy, eds. The Slave Narratives of Texas. Austin: Encino Press, 1974.

Washington, Booker T. Up From Slavery. New York: Penguin, 1986.

Yetman, Norman R., ed. Voices From Slavery: 100 Authentic Slave Narratives. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2000.


Other Life Histories from the WPA

Banks, Ann, ed. First-Person America. New York: Vintage Books, 1981.

Brown, James Seay, ed. Up Before Daylight: Life Histories from the Alabama Writers' Project, 1938-1939. University, Ala.: University of Alabama Press, 1982.

Federal Writers' Project. These Are Our Lives. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1939.

McDonogh, Gary W., ed. The Florida Negro: A Federal Writers' Project Legacy. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1993.

Terrill, Tom E., and Jerrold Hirsch, eds. Such As Us: Southern Voices of the Thirties. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1978.


Related Books and Articles

Bailey, David Thomas. "A Divided Prism: Two Sources on Black Testimony on Slavery." Journal of Southern History 46 (1980): 381-404.

Blassingame, John W. The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Ante-Bellum South. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

-----. "Using the Testimony of Ex-Slaves: Approaches and Problems." Journal of Southern History 41 (1975): 473-92.

Cade, John B. "Out of the Mouths of Ex-Slaves." Journal of Negro History 20 (July 1935): 294-337.

Clayton, Ronnie W. Mother Wit: The Ex-Slave Narratives of the Louisiana Writers’ Project. New York: P. Lang, 1990.

Covey, Herbert C., and Paul T. Lockman Jr. "Narrative References to Older African Americans Living Under Slavery." Social Science Journal 33:2 (1996): 23-37.

Davis, David Brion. "Slavery and the Post-World War II Historians." Daedalus 103 (Spring 1974): 1-16.

Elkins, Stanley M. Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959.

Escott, Paul D. Slavery Remembered: A Record of Twentieth-Century Slave Narratives. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.

Frazier, E. Franklin. The Negro Family in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939.

Genovese, Eugene D. Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Pantheon Books, 1974.

Georgia Writers’ Project. Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies among the Georgia Coastal Negroes. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1940. Reprint, 1986.

Gilmore, Al-Tony, ed. Revisiting Blassingame’s "The Slave Community": The Scholars Respond. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1978.

Hartman, Saidiya V. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Henige, David. Oral Historiography. London: Longman, 1982.

Johnson, Charles S. Shadow of the Plantation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934.

Jacobs, Donald M. The Index to the American Slave. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981.

Lantz, Herman R. "Family and Kin as Revealed in the Narratives of Ex-Slaves." Social Science Quarterly 60 (1980): 667-75.

Lester, Julius. To Be a Slave. New York: Dial Books, 1998.

Mangione, Jerre. The Dream and the Deal: The Federal Writers' Project, 1935-1943. Boston: Little, Brown, 1972.

McDonald, William F. Federal Relief Administration and the Arts. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1969.

Penkower, Monty Noam. The Federal Writers' Project: A Study in Government Patronage of the Arts. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Phillips, Ulrich B. American Negro Slavery: A Survey of the Supply, Employment, and Control of Negro Labor as Determined by the Plantation Regime. 1918. Reprint, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1966.

Rawick, George P. From Sundown to Sunup: The Making of the Black Community. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Co., 1972.

Saxon, Lyle, comp. Gumbo Ya Ya: A Collection of Louisiana Folk Tales. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1945.

Soapes, Thomas F. "The Federal Writers' Project Slave Interviews: Useful Data or Misleading Source." Oral History Review 2 (1977): 33-38.

Spindel, Donna J. "Assessing Memory: Twentieth-Century Slave Narratives Reconsidered." Journal of Interdisciplinary History 27 (1996): 247-61.

Virginia Writers' Project. The Negro in Virginia. New York: Hastings House, 1940. Reprint, Winston-Salem, N.C.: J. F. Blair, 1994.

Woodward, C. Vann. "History from Slave Sources." American Historical Review 79 (1974): 470-81.

Yetman, Norman R. "The Background of the Slave Narrative Collection." American Quarterly 19 (1967): 534-53.

-----. "Ex-Slave Interviews and the Historiography of Slavery." American Quarterly 36 (1984): 181-210.

Slave Narratives Collection