Database Scope

The New Jersey Slavery Records database began with records related to Rutgers University and slavery. Our team has worked to digitize and index additional record sets beyond Rutgers, and the database is continually expanding.

You can browse the database in multiple ways:

Currently, the database includes:

  • Records related to Rutgers university officers and alumni, documenting their ties to slavery, such as accounting records, bills of sale, letters, and newspaper clippings
  • Permission slips and organizational meeting minutes from the African Association of New Brunswick (1817–1824)
  • Middlesex County manumission certificates (complete set)
  • Middlesex County birth certificates of enslaved children (approximately half of the records have been published and half are currently undergoing review to prepare for publication)
  • Middlesex County removal certificates (complete set)
  • Newspaper clippings related to the interstate slave trade and kidnapping of Black New Jerseyans in the early 19th century
  • Runaway slave ads and slave sale ads from a range of New Jersey newspapers
  • Examples of wills and will abstracts that mention enslaved Black people
  • Various letters, receipts, and other manuscripts from Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

Our team is working to index additional county records, manuscripts, and newspaper clippings. New record sets are published two to three times a year.

Guides by Topic

Topical research guides highlight some of the major record sets in the New Jersey Slavery Records database.