Project Director: Dean Rehberger
Enslaved: People of the Historic Slave Trade is linked open data platform for the study and exploration of the historical slave trade. The project features a growing number of archives, databases, and collections that organize and make sense of records of enslavement that have become freely and readily accessible for scholarly and public consumption. This proliferation of projects and databases presents many challenges. First, the Project disambiguates and merges data on individuals across multiple datasets that currently are accessible individually in isolated siloes that prevent the aggregation of information. Enslaved: People of the Historic Slave Trade enables searching, browsing, and quantitative analysis across projects that may be difficult to find according to best practices for digital databases and thereby preserves projects that are in danger of going offline and disappearing. In response to these challenges, Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University has developed a constellation of software and services to address these challenges. The primary focus is people—individuals who were enslaved, who sought and attained their freedom, who owned slaves, or who participated in slave trading.