Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Period of Performance

6/1/2014 - 5/31/2018

Funding Totals

$300,000.00 (approved)
$300,000.00 (awarded)

Beyond the Mansion 2.0: Completing a Digital Archive for Thirty Years of Archaeological Research at The Hermitage

FAIN: PW-51724-14

Monticello (Charlottesville, VA 22902-0316)
Jillian E. Galle (Project Director: August 2013 to June 2019)

Cataloging and digitization of 365,000 artifacts from Andrew Jackson's home, The Hermitage, located near Nashville, Tennessee, that document socio-cultural relations between the owners and the enslaved population from the late 18th century through emancipation.

From 1804 until 1845 The Hermitage was home to Andrew Jackson and scores of enslaved men, women, and children who labored in the fields of Jackson's cotton plantation near Nashville, Tennessee. To shed needed light on the daily lives of The Hermitage's enslaved community, archaeologists excavated hundreds of thousands of artifacts from twelve domestic sites of slavery. Despite extensive excavations, compelling insights, based on archaeological evidence, into the economic, social, and cultural dynamics of The Hermitage plantation community have remained elusive. This proposal requests funds to catalog, analyze, digitize and disseminate data on hundreds of thousands of artifacts and archaeological contexts from six excavation areas at the First Hermitage. These collections are currently virtually inaccessible to researchers and the public and making the data available will yield new insights into changing lifeways of enslaved people during the 19th century in the Upper South.

Media Coverage

Monticello Archaeologists Awarded NEH Grant to Share Research Online (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Amy Atticks
Publication: Thomas Jefferson Foundation's website,
Date: 4/3/2014
Abstract: Thomas Jefferson Foundation's press release regarding the award of NEH's HCRR Beyond the Mansion 2.0 grant to DAACS.
URL: http://

Associated Products

Ceramic Investment by Enslaved People at The Hermitage, Tennessee (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Ceramic Investment by Enslaved People at The Hermitage, Tennessee
Author: Elizabeth A. Bollwerk
Author: Lynsey A. Bates
Author: Jillian E. Galle
Author: Leslie Cooper
Abstract: For the first time, archaeological data from excavations at The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s nineteenth-century cotton plantation near Nashville, Tennessee, are being made available to researchers through the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS). These assemblages are associated primarily with enslaved laborers who lived in three Antebellum quartering areas on the plantation. Building on previous research about slaves’ acquisition of non-provisioned goods, this poster interrogates one subset of these data, imported ceramics, to assess the distribution of goods across the spatially-divided enslaved community. First, we establish a plantation-wide chronology using correspondence analysis to date deposits from the mansion backyard, outlying field quarters, and the First Hermitage, the earliest settled area of the plantation. We then review how specialized forms and decorated vessels varied across time and space between the three domestic areas, and whether this variation reflects relative investment in market goods.
Date: 04/06/2016
Primary URL: http://
Primary URL Description: DAACS Research Page with a link to a scientific poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, April 2016. Orlando, Florida.
Conference Name: Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology