GALILEO Offers Online Resources for the Study of Slavery in America

Audience at Juneteenth Celebration and Black Music Month, Atlanta, Georgia, June 20, 1993.
, Atlanta Journal Constitution Photographic Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, marking June 19th a federal holiday.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln two years prior in 1963, ending chattel slavery in America, the Confederate controlled states fought to maintain the system until 1865 when they met their demise at the hands of the Union army thus ending the Civil War.

Being the western most slave state, Texas was the last to capitulate, when on June 19th, 1965 Union Army General Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas, proclaiming freedom for the slaves. The Thirteenth Amendment was passed five months earlier on January 31, 1965.

Early on, June 19th became a informal day of celebration for African Americans in Texas, but over the years has spread to other southern states with folks commemorating the day by holding parades, food festivals, church related events, and other celebrations. If you’d like to learn more about Juneteenth, as well as the history of slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the Augusta Public Library offers access to an array of online resources through GALILEO, its virtual library of databases. To access GALILEO go to our library homepage You’ll need an up to date PINES Library Card, and the GALILEO password. Please call the Augusta Public Library at 706-821-2600 of you don’t know the GALILEO password.

Some of the online resources to look for:

Slavery in American and the World

Brings together a multitude of essential legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. Our case coverage extends into the 20th century because long after slavery ended courts were still resolving issues emanating from slavery.

Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

 Voyages is the result of the African Origins Project, a scholar-public collaborative endeavor to trace the geographic origins of Africans transported in the transatlantic slave trade. Many have contributed to this international research project, which is based at Emory University. The database provides information on almost 35,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The Voyages section of the database tracks 35,000 slaving expeditions between 1514 and 1866 and includes the ship’s name, captain, owners, and nation as well as the number of slaves and some other information about the voyage. The African Names Database identifies over 67,000 African men, women, and children, including name, age, gender, origin, and place of embarkation. A section on assessing the slave trade provides statistics, a timeline, and maps that track the flow of the slave trade over time.

Civil Rights and Social Justice

HeinOnline’s Civil Rights and Social Justice database brings together a diverse offering of publications covering civil rights in the United States as their legal protections and definitions are expanded to cover more and more Americans. Containing links to more than 500 scholarly articles, hearings and committee prints, legislative histories on the landmark legislation, CRS and GAO reports, briefs from major Supreme Court cases, and publications from the Commission on Civil Rights, this database allows users to educate themselves on the ways our civil rights have been strengthened and expanded over time, as well as how these legal protections can go further still. A varied collection of books on many civil rights topics and a list of prominent civil rights organizations help take the research beyond HeinOnline.

Civil War in the American South

In recognition of the sesquicentennial of the start of the American Civil War, Civil War in the American South provides a central portal to access digital collections from the Civil War Era (1850-1865) held by members of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). ASERL members hold deep and extensive collections documenting the history and culture of the American South, developed over hundreds of years to support scholarly research and teaching. Many of the special or unique manuscripts, photographs, books, newspapers, broadsides, and other materials have been digitized to provide broader access to these documents for scholars and students around the world. Civil War in the American South is a collaborative initiative to provide a single, shared point of access to the Civil War digital collections held at many individual libraries.

The Civil Rights Digital Library

The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) promotes an enhanced understanding of the Civil Rights Movement through its three principal components:

• a digital video archive delivering 30 hours of historical news film allowing learners to be nearly eyewitnesses to key events of the Civil Rights Movement
• a civil rights portal providing a seamless virtual library on the Civil Rights Movement by aggregating metadata from 75 libraries and allied organizations from across the nation
• instructional materials to facilitate the use of the video content in the learning process

The CRDL links to primary sources and other educational materials from libraries, archives, museums, public broadcasters, and others on a national scale. The CRDL features a collection of more than 30 hours of unedited news film from the WSB (Atlanta) and WALB (Albany, Ga.) television archives held by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries. These moving images – about 450 clips – cover a broad range of key civil rights events, including the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (1957); the Atlanta Temple bombing (1958); Atlanta sit-ins (1960); Freedom Rides (1961); desegregation of the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech (1961); the Albany Movement (1961-1962); desegregation of Ole Miss (1962) and University of Alabama (1963); and Americus Movement (1963, 1965); Birmingham demonstrations (1963); among many other topics.

CRDL is a partnership among librarians, technologists, archivists, educators, scholars, academic publishers, and public broadcasters. The initiative receives support through a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Digital Library of Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is a gateway to Georgia’s history and culture found in digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, government documents, newspapers, maps, audio, video, and other resources.

Many of the materials are from the holdings of GALILEO member institutions, and the Digital Library of Georgia continues to grow through its partnerships with libraries, archives, museums, government agencies, and allied organizations across the state.

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