The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922: From the American Antiquarian Society
An America's Historical Imprints Collection
Now any scholar or student…can easily access this vast and invaluable collection….a windfall for historians of 19th-century American history.
Manisha Sinha, Professor of Afro-American Studies and History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Quick Facts

  • One of the most important and controversial topics in American history
  • More than 3,500 printed works about slavery, all digitized in full color
  • Diverse materials include books, pamphlets, graphic materials, and ephemera


This digital edition of the American Antiquarian Society’s extraordinary holdings of slavery and abolition materials delivers more than 3,500 works published over the course of more than 100 years.  Long awaited in fully searchable form, The American Slavery Collection addresses every facet of American slavery—one of the most important and controversial topics in U.S. history.  These diverse materials, all filmed in full-resolution color, include books, pamphlets, graphic materials, and ephemera; among them are a large number of invaluable Southern imprints.

New research and teaching opportunities
Coverage spans the Missouri Compromise and the founding of Liberia as a colony for blacks fleeing America; the rise and suppression of abolitionist activities; the first National Anti-Slavery Society Convention in 1837 and the Compromise of 1850; the Emancipation Proclamation and the establishment of “Redeemer” state governments; the birth of “Jim Crow” and the expansion of segregation through the early 1920s. Subjects covered include religion, freedmen, suffrage, insurrections, the slave trade and many others.  Genres range from personal narratives to children’s literature to black authors, including Denmark Vesey, Olaudah Equiano, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charles Ball, and dozens more.

An Archive of Americana collection
The American Slavery Collection is fully integrated into America’s Historical Imprints for seamless searching with Afro-Americana Imprints, American Broadsides and Ephemera, The American Civil War Collection, American Pamphlets,and Early American Imprints.

About the American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is both a learned society and a major independent research library. The AAS library houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, sheet music and graphic arts material printed from first contact through 1876 in what is now the United States, Canada and the West Indies.  The Society’s holdings of American printed materials dating from 1821 through 1876 are among the strongest anywhere.

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