SMR: Library News

The Library is committed to expanding its collections, instruction, collaborations, and outreach in all areas related to Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. This page provides updates on Library initiatives in these areas.

July 2021

New Research Guide - The Booth Family Center for Special Collections has created a new research guide, Washington, D.C., History Resources. This guide is intended to help researchers interested in finding sources for short-term research projects, extensive digital projects, or substantial research papers and theses. Of particular interest to those researching issues relating to slavery in Washington, D.C., is the section on Slavery and Emancipation. In this section, researchers will find an introduction to slavery and emancipation in DC along with guidance on finding specific types of materials, including: Deeds related to Slavery and Freedom; Slavery Records created by the U.S. Circuit Courts; Slave Manifests filed in New Orleans; Records of the Commissioners of the Board of Emancipation, 1862-1863; and Digital Projects relating to slavery in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Researchers should also consult other areas of this new guide, particularly the sections devoted to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections; Manuscript Collections; Newspapers; Diaries, Memoirs, and Oral Histories.

June 2021

Anti-Racism Toolkit Update - The Library has reorganized the Anti-Racism Toolkit to make it more useful for researchers. The toolkit is now organized topically, instead of by format, to make it easier for users to find information on specific subjects. It includes subjects such as civil rights, criminal justice, systemic racism in education, and medicine, as well as links to general interest books, guides at other universities, and key research databases.

June 2021

New Blog Post - In honor of Juneteenth—the holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States—Library staff have written a blog post, Celebrating Juneteenth with the Library's Special Collections, highlighting materials from the manuscript, art, rare book, and archives holdings of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections and the Woodstock Theological Library. If you would like to know more about these items, or our other special collections pertaining to slavery, freedom, and beyond, please contact Special Collections.

January 2021

Grant to Build Collections Relating to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice - The Library's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is the recipient of a grant from the Library's Gladys Brooks Emerging Disciplines Fund to expand collections in areas relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice. The Library's Gladys Brooks Emerging Disciplines Fund is funded by an award the Library received in 2013 from the Gladys Brooks Foundation to support collections related to emerging disciplines. Materials purchased with this grant will have a special focus on Anti-racism, Racial Justice, and Police Brutality. The preferred format will be ebooks, due to the current limits on in person access to the physical library. For more information, please contact the Library's DEI Committee at

December 2020

New Research Guide - The Booth Family Center for Special Collections has created a new research guide, Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation at Lauinger Library. This guide describes significant sources within the Art, Manuscripts, Rare Books, and University Archives units of Booth for scholarly research and public conversations about slavery and race. The collections created by the Maryland Jesuits warrant special consideration because of the legacy of their participation in slavery and their role in the Christianization of Black people. The work of Booth is ongoing and updates will be made to this guide as the assessments of existing collections, collecting initiatives, and digitization projects progress. The guide also links to Lauinger databases and digital projects led by Georgetown researchers and outside scholars. The digitized manuscript collections, computational data, and genealogical resources provided in these resources can help researchers answer questions about the experiences of the enslaved outside of Maryland and throughout the United States

October 2020

New Database - The Georgetown community now has access to ProQuest History Vault: Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Law and Order in the 19th Century (1636-1880); NetID and password are required for access.

With digitized records from the Rhode Island Historical Society, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the National Archives, this collection contains business documents and legal correspondence dealing with the slave trade. The archive also includes some early letters received by the U.S. Attorney General, providing a window on citizen opinion in 19th century America.

This collection complements our existing History Vault modules on the history of slavery, including: Slavery in Antebellum Southern Industries, Slavery and the Law, and Southern Life and African American History via Plantations Records, Parts 1 and 2. These collections (and more) can be cross-searched through the main History Vault page.

September 2020

Donation to Library Illustrates Life on Board a Slave Ship - A recent gift to the Georgetown University Library, now digitized and available online in DigitalGeorgetown, provides poignant and valuable insight into the Atlantic slave trade. Watch a video about the logbook and its preservation edited by student Yasmine Bouachri (C ’20) for the Spring 2020 AMST 272: Facing Georgetown's History class. Read more about the donation.

New Databases - The Georgetown community now has access to the following databases; NetID and password are required for access.

  • African American Newspapers, Series 2, 1835-1956 (link includes both Series 1 and Series 2) - Provides online access to approximately 75 U.S. newspapers chronicling over a century of the African American experience. This unique collection features papers from more than 22 states and the District of Columbia—including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles.
  • African Americans And Jim Crow: Repression & Protest, 1883-1922 - Sourced from the Library Company of Philadelphia's Afro-Americana Collection, African Americans and Jim Crow: Repression and Protest offers more than 1,000 fully searchable printed works critical for insight into African-American culture and life from the beginning of Jim Crow to World War I and beyond.
  • Black Authors, 1556-1922: Imprints from the Library Company of Philadelphia Created from the renowned holdings of the Library Company of Philadelphia, this compelling collection offers more than 550 fully cataloged and searchable works by black authors from the Americas, Europe and Africa.

August 2020

Library Receives Mellon Grant to Support Slavery Reconciliation Efforts - On These Grounds: Modeling and Sharing Archival Materials about Slavery, a collaboration among Michigan State University, Georgetown University Library, and the University of Virginia, has received a $550,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. On These Grounds will aid slavery reconciliation efforts by developing and testing a prototype linked open data model to better describe slavery-related archival materials and enhance the ability of scholars, students, alumni, and descendants to gain new insights and understanding of the lived reality of bondage at these institutions. Read more about the grant.

Walking Tour of the Georgetown Campus - The Booth Family Center for Special Collections in collaboration with Professor Adam Rothman, created a walking tour of sites on and around the Georgetown campus relating to slavery. View the tour: The Price of Georgetown: A Walking Tour of Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation at Georgetown University.