New Database on the Slave Trade

Check out this new database on the African slave trade.  It includes records of approximately 35,000 voyages of trans-atlantic slave ships, compiled from libraries and archives all over the world and dating between 1514 and 1866.  Originally published as a CD-ROM by Cambridge University Press in 1999, it’s now available for free on the web.  A pdf guide to using the database can be linked here.  

Greensboro Public Library has a fine genealogy collection, including resources similar to the new slave trade database, which may be of special interest to African-American genealogists and historians.

One particular resource which comes to mind is the Freedman’s Bank records available in Heritage Quest.  This was a bank which served African-Americans — newly freed from slavery — during the period from 1865 to 1874.  The records contain personal information about the depositors which may not be available elsewhere.  Heritage Quest is part of the NCLive network of databases and can be linked to via our homepage at, if you have a library card. 

Another useful electronic resource for genealogists is the Library Edition of Ancestry, which is especially good for checking U.S. Census records — often the starting point for African-American researchers.  To locate our link to Ancestry, just go to the library’s homepage, click on the A-Z Guide, then scroll down.  (Please be aware that you must be at Central Library or one of our branch locations to use Ancestry.)

The library is also in the process of compiling pages pertinent to African-American genealogy and history here in Greensboro and adding them to the library’s webpage.  On the left side of this page, you can find links to some of the things we’ve completed and continue to work on.   

If you have questions about these or other online resources, please contact our Genealogy Librarian, Mr. Arthur Erickson.


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