Slave Narratives Collection


Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 was made possible by a major gift from the Citigroup Foundation.

The project was developed and prepared by several staff members of the National Digital Library Program (NDLP) at the Library of Congress: Melissa Front, Jurretta Jordan Heckscher, Catherine Tousignant, and current project leader Sarah Mason.

Historical research by Daphne Cunningham of the Department of History at Indiana University laid the groundwork for the collection's development. Several Library of Congress staff offered essential guidance at the project's beginnings: Camila Bryce-Laporte and Nora Yeh of the American Folklife Center; Adrienne Cannon of the Manuscript Division; Martha Anderson, Thomas H. Bramel , Nancy Eichacker, Carl Fleischhauer, and Melissa Smith-Levine of the National Digital Library Program; and Beverly W. Brannan, Barbara Natanson, and Helena Zinkham of the Prints and Photographs Division.

Many NDLP staff members provided indispensable support during the planning and production stages of this project. Jurretta Jordan Heckscher and Emily Lind Baker served as editors for the Web site's introductory texts. Glenn Ricci and Amber York were responsible for the site design and creation, including all HTML encoding and graphic design. Martha Anderson provided expertise, general advice, and consultation. Elizabeth Madden created and managed the collection database. Tamara Swora-Gober provided project management support, including management of the scanning contract, and served as consultant on issues related to microfilm and digital imaging. Nancy Eichacker managed the budget and provided advice and guidance. Elizabeth Gettins transcribed pages missing from the microfilm and made text corrections. Sharon Nixon, Ishmael Wilson, and Theresa Wilson helped expand the database. Danna Bell-Russel coordinated publicity. Melissa Smith-Levine supplied copyright advice. Christopher Pohlhaus coordinated delivery of the digital images from the contractor, and Joel Kaufman and Elle Erickson performed quality review of the digital images.

Special thanks go to David Woodward and Mary Ambrosio of Information Technology Services for programming the indexing and display of the documents and providing exceptional guidance and expertise.

In the Prints and Photographs Division, the collection team extends its gratitude to Phil Michel for coordinating the scanning of the photographs. Thadas Jeffers assisted with scanning, marking materials, and performing quality control. Brett Carnell and Mary Mundy oversaw the cataloging of the photographs held by the Prints and Photographs Division, with assistance from Cheryl McCullers.

In the Conservation Division, Allan Haley, Andrew Robb, and Mary Wootton provided evaluation of the materials, repair work, and guidance in handling issues.

In the Manuscript Division, Paul Chestnut and Rick Bickel coordinated the delivery of manuscript materials for scanning. Adrienne Cannon served as a consultant to the project.

In the Public Affairs Office, Guy Lamolinara developed publicity.

Preservation Resources scanned the microfilm and used OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to create text files; special acknowledgment goes to Meg Bellinger, Glenn Musgrave, Steph Wagaman, and Lynn Wagner.

Allison Ross and the staff of JJT, Inc. created the digital images of the photographs.

Finally, special thanks go to Norman R. Yetman, Chancellors Club Teaching Professor of American Studies and Sociology and Chair of the American Studies Program at the University of Kansas, for contributing an introductory essay to the online presentation.

Slave Narratives Collection