Research Programs: Collaborative Research

Period of Performance

9/1/2002 - 8/31/2005

Funding Totals (outright + matching)

$125,000.00 (approved)
$125,000.00 (awarded)

The Harriet Jacobs Papers

FAIN: RZ-20879-02

Pace University College of White Plains (White Plains, NY 10603-3710)
Jean Fagan Yellin (Project Director: September 2001 to September 2006)

Funding details:
Original grant (2002) $80,000.00
Supplement (2003) $40,000.00
Supplement (2004) $5,000.00

To support work on an edition of the papers of Harriet Jacobs, 19th-century American slave, author, abolitionist, and reform activist.

A two-volume documentary edition, to be published by the university of North Carolina Press, of approximately 600 letters, manuscripts, legal papers, and rare published documents by and about Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897), the American author, abolitionist, and reform activist best known for the landmark slave narrative "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself."

Media Coverage

Why A 19th Century American Slave Memoir Is Becoming A Bestseller In Japan's Bookstores (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Jake Adelstein
Publication: Forbes
Date: 11/15/2017
Abstract: Short article about the Japanese edition of the work.

Associated Products

The Harriet Jacobs Family Papers, Volume One and Volume Two (Book)
Title: The Harriet Jacobs Family Papers, Volume One and Volume Two
Author: Harriet Jacobs
Editor: Scott Korb, Associate Editor
Editor: Jean Fagan Yellin, Editor
Editor: Kate Culkin, Associate Editor
Abstract: Although millions of African American women were held in bondage over the 250 years that slavery was legal in the United States, Harriet Jacobs (1813-97) is the only one known to have left papers testifying to her life, including the autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Born in Edenton, North Carolina, Jacobs escaped from her owner in her mid-twenties and hid in the cramped attic crawlspace of her grandmother's house for seven years before making her way north as a fugitive slave. In Rochester, New York, she became an active abolitionist, working with all of the major abolitionists, feminists, and literary figures of her day, including Frederick Douglass, Lydia Maria Child, Amy Post, William Lloyd Garrison, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern, William C. Nell, Charlotte Forten Grimké, and Nathan Parker Willis. Jean Fagan Yellin has devoted much of her professional life to the life of Harriet Jacobs. Over three decades of research, Yellin has discovered more than 900 primary source documents, approximately 300 of which are now collected in two volumes. These letters and papers written by, for, and about Jacobs and her activist brother and daughter provide for the thousands of readers of Incidents--from scholars to schoolchildren--access to the rich historical context of Jacobs's struggles against slavery, racism, and sexism beyond what she revealed in her pseudonymous narrative.
Year: 2008
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat listing
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Publisher's listing
Access Model: Book, two-volume boxed set
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Type: Scholarly Edition
ISBN: 9780807831311
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes


J. Franklin Jameson Award
Date: 1/1/2009
Organization: American Historical Award
Abstract: The Jameson Award was established in 1974 to be awarded every five years for outstanding achievement in the editing of historical sources. The prize, which was first offered in 1980, honors J. Franklin Jameson, a founding member of the American History Association (AHA),, its president in 1907, and an influential proponent of historical study. In 2007 the AHA Council made the decision to change the frequency of the award from every five years to biennially. There is no monetary prize, but the winner receives a certificate in recognition of the award. To be eligible for consideration, works must be of a scholarly, historical nature; review or journal editing is not eligible.