Slavery, Abolition, Emancipation and Freedom Primary Sources from Houghton Library

Collections in Context

Slavery, Abolition, Emancipation and Freedom: Primary Sources from Houghton Library includes material from Jupiter Hammon’s 1786 Address to Negroes of the State of New York to Black voting guides from the early 20th century. While it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive explanation of centuries of Black life and liberation struggles, these distinctive essays from Harvard students provide unique introductions to the major periods and themes represented in this collection. For collection guides, visit the Black Voices, Memoirs and Slave Narratives, and Women's Voices pages.

Early Republic, 1780-1830 - Kabl Wilkerson

Abolitionists, 1780-1865 - Lauren Anderson

Civil War, 1861-1865 - Jonathan Karp

Black Voices, 1780-1910 - Denson Staples


We have also included the first of, hopefully, many brief essays about the collection materials themselves. Written by archivists and curators, these essays will provide a material-focused look at the sorts of sources included in SAEF.