Our Partners

Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives

Many of the archival documents that appear in our database are housed at Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers University's Alexander Library in New Brunswick. Our research team scanned and photographed these items at the Special Collections reading room and then transcribed and indexed the records. The staff at Special Collections and University Archives have provided crucial guidance for the project since the earliest phase of our research into Rutgers University's entanglements with slavery.

Sources that originate in Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives can be easily identified and filtered by collection on the Sources browsing page. Simply use the filter "Rutgers Collection" and select the desired collection from the drop-down box.

On These Grounds

During the first phase of the New Jersey Slavery Records project in 2021-2022, we formed a partnership with On These Grounds: Slavery and the University. Funded by the Mellon Foundation, On These Grounds is a cross-institutional digital initiative to describe the history of enslavement found in archival materials at colleges and universities. The project is led by Sharon Leon with core partners at Michigan State University, Georgetown University, and the University of Virginia.

Central to the mission of On These Grounds is the creation of a linked open data model to organize, publish, and share information about the history of slavery with interested scholars, students, alumni, descendants, and members of the public. In the summer of 2021, the Scarlet and Black Research Center was selected as one of the testing partners for a year-long collaborative process to test the alpha version of the data model created by On These Grounds. In addition to MSU, Georgetown, and UVA, we worked with testing partners at Washington and Lee University, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Hampden-Sydney College to apply the linked open data ontology to our archival holdings, test data creation workflows, and provide feedback on revisions to the model.

In September 2022, we launched the New Jersey Slavery Records website using the platform and data model that we tested with our partners. We continue working with our cross-institutional partners to build a community of practice around digital humanities work with a focus on slavery and the university.


In 2022, we joined the Northeast Slavery Records Collaborative, which develops and maintains an online searchable compilation of records called the Northeast Slavery Records Index (NESRI). NESRI compiles records of enslavement, including population census records as well as records that identify individual enslaved persons and enslavers, for the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

Funded by an American Council of Learned Societies Digital Justice Grant, our collaboration with NESRI bolsters our efforts to create datasets related to slavery in New Jersey. The data published on the New Jersey Slavery Records website will also be aggregated into the regional index to increase the discoverability of this information.

Princeton & Slavery Project

In the fall of 2023, we partnered with our colleagues at the Princeton & Slavery Project to create database records related to archival documents and newspaper advertisements that have been published on the Princeton & Slavery website. A team of student volunteers at Princeton University has been hard at work creating a comprehensive index of names and events for the Princeton area.

Their work has allowed us to add a new feature to the database: you can now review a list of people whose stories intersect with Princeton University history. To see this index, go to the Persons browsing page and select the keyword: Princeton University history.

Additionally, many records that document local history in the Princeton area (even if they are not related to the university) have been found and submitted by the Princeton team greatly expanding the database's coverage of the area.