UCI co-leads project adding 11,400 intra-American journeys to Slave Voyages database

(March 20, 2019)

Blending the power of big data and history, an expanded and redesigned version of Slave Voyages – one of the most utilized resources in the digital humanities – is now available. Housing both trans-Atlantic and intra-American slave trade databases, the Slave Voyages website illuminates the ubiquity of the slave trade from the 16th century to the 19th century. A research team co-led by the University of California, Irvine focused on the intra-American database, adding 11,400 records on slave voyages within the Americas – stretching from Boston to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and involving both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

“Arrival on the Atlantic coast didn’t mark the end of the crossing for at least 20 percent of captives, who soon boarded ships for distribution throughout trade routes within the Americas,” said Alex Borucki, a UCI associate professor of history who co-led the expansion of the intra-American database.

Funded initially by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2016, Borucki and co-principal investigator Gregory O’Malley, associate professor of history at UC Santa Cruz, set out to broaden the scope of the open-access Slave Voyages website to promote scholarly and public awareness of how the traffic of enslaved Africans and their descendants shaped several regions of North, Central and South America.

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