• By Jacquelyn White
  • Posted Sunday, February 12, 2017

Database of the Week: American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography

From 1936 to 1938, ex-slaves in the United States told, for the first time, stories of what it was like to be a slave in America and what life was like after freedom finally came. Told by the former slaves themselves, the narratives were collected under the auspices of the Work Projects Administration. Ultimately, nearly 4,000 narratives were collected.

Greenwood Electronic Media’s online American Slavery: A Composite Autobiography is a definitive, authoritative resource for this important piece of American history—an essential collection made easily searchable via the Web, while maintaining historical authenticity.


Researchers can:

  • Explore an important part of American history, told through the voices of ex-slaves themselves.
  • Conduct research: historical, genealogical, or sociological.
  • Tap into an extensive index of links to related sources, categorized by type.
  • Search by surname, location, age, alone, or combined with extensive subject index headings.
  • Listen to archives of Folk Culture Sound Recordings added in 2003.

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