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Home / News / Michigan State University to Receive $1.5 Million Grant to Create Online Slavery Database

Michigan State University to Receive $1.5 Million Grant to Create Online Slavery Database

Michigan State University is set to receive almost $1.5 million to launch a new online database that will allow people to view records of millions of enslaved people and their descendants, in an attempt to help people learn about their ancestry.
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The university will receive a $1.47 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which will oversee the project, “Enslaved: The People of the Historic Slave Trade.”
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The database is an online hub that will provide links to data collections from other universities on slavery and enslaved people.
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MSU Today writes: “By linking data collections from multiple universities, the website will allow people to search millions of pieces of slave data to identify enslaved individuals and their descendants from a central source. Users can also run analyses of enslaved populations and create maps, charts, and graphics.”
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“‘Enslaved’ brings new digital tools and analytical approaches to the study of African slavery and the Atlantic slave trade,” said project co-investigator Walter Hawthorne, a professor, and chair of MSU’s department of history. “By linking data compiled by some of the world’s foremost historians, it will allow scholars and the public to learn about individuals’ lives and to draw new, broad conclusions about processes that had an indelible impact on the world.”
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The “Enslaved” project is expected to take around 18 months to complete and is the first part of their multiphase plan. With people becoming more interested in their ancestry and utilizing sites such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe, the database is expected to provide more information about your ancestors from the year 1850 and before.

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