Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Period of Performance

6/1/2016 - 11/30/2018

Funding Totals

$75,000.00 (approved)
$73,178.08 (awarded)

The Colored Conventions Project

FAIN: HD-248462-16

University of Delaware (Newark, DE 19711-3651)
P. Gabrielle Foreman (Project Director: September 2015 to May 2019)

Enhancement of a website to document over 120 conventions organized by African-American communities from the 1830s-1880s, including development of a reference database and fifteen interpretive exhibits.

The Colored Conventions Project (CCP) is a digital collection and hybrid site for research and teaching that brings unprecedented public attention to the thousands of African Americans who made up the 19th-century Colored Conventions Movement. collects, for the first time, rare and scattered minutes from more than 100 conventions. A DH Start-Up II grant will enable our interdisciplinary team of faculty, graduate and undergraduate researchers, library professionals, church and national teaching partners to collaborate to 1) create 15 new exhibits showcasing original research and visualizations 2) amass a database of 4,000+ conventions attendees for reference and datasets 3) expand outreach for our crowdsourcing Transcribe Minutes and 4) introduce Translate Minutes with our first international partner. Ultimately CCP will model a more inclusive digital history as we recover a movement for racial, economic and educational justice that resonates in our own time.

Media Coverage

Colored Conventions, a Rallying Point for Black Americans Before the Civil War (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Eve M. Kahn
Publication: New York Times
Date: 8/4/2016
Abstract: The NYT article describes the Colored Convention Project's effort to document and provide access to the history of black organizing in the 19th century. It highlights various aspects of the Project--collecting and transcribing the documents, forming teaching partners, and future plans for a scholarly volume--through the excerpts from the reporter's interview with Dr. P. Gabrielle Foreman, the Faculty Director.

MLA Prize (Media Coverage)
Author(s): UDaily Staff
Publication: UDaily
Date: 12/12/2016
Abstract: The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) has announced that a University of Delaware team has won the 10th Modern Language Association Prize for a Bibliography, Archive, or Digital Project. The prize will be presented to the University’s P. Gabrielle Foreman, Jim Casey and Sarah Lynn Patterson on behalf of the Colored Conventions Project team for its work on the Colored Conventions Project, which brings 19th century black organizing to life in a digital setting.
URL: http://

Associated Products

Colored Conventions: Bringing Nineteenth-Century Black Organizing to Digital Life (Web Resource)
Title: Colored Conventions: Bringing Nineteenth-Century Black Organizing to Digital Life
Author: P. Gabrielle Foreman
Abstract: From 1830 until the 1890s, already free and once captive Black people came together in state and national political meetings called "Colored Conventions." Before the War, they strategized about how to achieve educational, labor and legal justice at a moment when Black rights were constricting nationally and locally. After the War, their numbers swelled as they continued to mobilize to ensure that Black citizenship rights and safety, Black labor rights and land, Black education and institutions would be protected under the law. The delegates to these meetings included the most well-known, if mostly male, writers, organizers, church leaders, newspaper editors, and entrepreneurs in the canon of early African-American leadership—and thousands whose names and histories have long been forgotten. What is left of this phenomenal effort are rare proceedings, newspaper coverage, and petitions that have never before been collected in one place. This project seeks to not only learn about the lives of male delegates, the places where they met and the social networks that they created, but also to account for the crucial work done by Black women in the broader social networks that made these conventions possible. Please see the About Us page for information about the project team.
Year: 2016
Primary URL:


Garfinkel Prize in Digital Humanities
Date: 11/9/2017
Organization: Digital Humanities Caucus of the American Studies Association

Best Electronic Reference Prize 2016
Date: 4/12/2017
Organization: Popular Culture/American Culture Association

MLA Prize for a Bibliography, Archive, or Digital Project
Date: 1/6/2015
Organization: Modern Language Association