Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Period of Performance

5/1/2009 - 4/30/2012

Funding Totals

$304,971.00 (approved)
$304,971.00 (awarded)

Mulberry Row Reassessment: Digitizing a Decade of Archaeological Research on Slavery at Monticello

FAIN: PW-50357-09

Monticello (Charlottesville, VA 22902-0316)
Fraser D. Neiman (Project Director: August 2008 to August 2012)

The completion of cataloging and digitization of 132,720 archaeological artifacts from areas along Mulberry Row, occupied from 1804 to 1858 by enslaved African Americans at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Plantation, and making the data freely available on the Internet.

In the 1980s archaeologists excavated sixteen sites along Mulberry Row, a dirt path adjacent to the neoclassical mansion that Thomas Jefferson designed and built at Monticello Plantation near Charlottesville, Virginia. The sites were once the homes and workspaces of enslaved artisans and domestics. The assemblages recovered were never completely catalogued, depriving both scholars and the general public of the possibility of using them to probe the historical dynamics of slavery at Monticello. Monticello's department of archaeology initiated the Mulberry Row Reassessment in 2000 to digitize completely artifacts, faunal remains, and field records from this decade of fieldwork, following protocols established by the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery. This proposal seeks funds to complete the project, to make the results accessible to scholars and the public on the web, and to enhance our understanding the changing life ways of people enslaved at Monticello.