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SHADD: Studies in the History of the African Diaspora – Documents hosts an extensive collection of primary documents and archival inventories that are housed at the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas under the direction of Distinguished Research Professor Paul E. Lovejoy. SHADD operates under the direction of an Editorial Collective at York University, whose members are associates of the Tubman Institute. SHADD was founded in association with the UNESCO Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History.


The Series is named in honour of Mary Ann Shadd (Cary), feminist and abolitionist editor of the Provincial Freeman (Windsor, Toronto, Chatham, Canada West), 1853-1857. Shadd was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1823 and moved to Canada in 1851, where she was deeply involved in the anti-slavery movement, publishing A Plea for Emigration; or Notes of Canada West in 1852, and subsequently founding a school in Windsor. After her period with the Provincial Freeman, she returned to the United States to teach school and then to recruit soldiers to fight in the American Civil War. She later attended Howard University and became one of the first women of African descent to earn a law degree. She died in Washington, D.C. in 1893. She personified the motto of the Provincial Freeman – "Self-Reliance is the True Road to Independence". A century later she was designated a Person of National Historic Significance in Canada.


SHADD publishes manuscripts, documents and transcriptions in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Hausa and other languages relevant to the history of the African diaspora. Original documents may be submitted to the Editorial Collective for inclusion. Documents must be digitized or accessible for digitization, and where permission to publish is required, such permission should be secured in writing. All citations will give full credit to the location of documents; there will be inventories of documents, as appropriate. Internet links to institutions will be included, indicating where additional materials may be found, as well as sources for documents included on the site. Hard copies of digitized documents will be deposited at selected repositories in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, as determined by the decision of the Editorial Collective. Wherever appropriate annotations and introductions will be revised as new information is recovered or otherwise made available.


SHADD was established in association with the York/UNESCO “Nigerian Hinterland Project”, the Major Collaborative Research Initiative, “Slavery, Memory, Citizenship”, and the SSHRC Insight Project “Testimonies of Enslavement”. SHADD has evolved into an umbrella that links to various research initiatives, including Freedom Narratives, Proyecto Baquaqua Project, Equiano’s World, Enslaved: People of the Historic Slave Trade, Liberated Africans, Le Marronnage dans le Monde Atlantique, Slave Societies Digital Archive, and Slavery Images and works in collaboration with the Matrix Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, Michigan State University, and Museu Vivo do São Bento.

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