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Grant number like: HAA-256102-17

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Cornell University (Ithaca, NY 14850-2820)
Edward E. Baptist (Project Director: January 2017 to November 2022)
William C. Block (Co Project Director: May 2017 to November 2022)

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper][Grant products]

Totals (outright + matching):
$374,581 (approved)
$372,449 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2017 – 9/30/2021

Freedom on the Move: Advancing a Crowdsourced, Comprehensive Database of North American Runaway Slave Advertisements

Implementation of Freedom on the Move, a public history resource that will offer a unified access point to 100,000 runaway slave advertisements published in American newspapers through the end of the Civil War. In addition, the project will develop tools for students to engage with primary sources by transcribing the advertisements.

“Freedom on the Move” (FOTM) creates a digital resource from an estimated 100,000 runaway slave advertisements from pre-1865 U.S. newspapers. These ads, placed by enslavers when enslaved people attempted to escape, comprise one of the richest sources of information about enslaved individuals in United States history. The FOTM database, which will be freely available for browsing and research, is the first comprehensive collection of these ads. Using crowdsourcing to parse ad data into a database, FOTM enables new research analyses of the history of U.S. slavery. The prototype interface is already built. We seek funds to complete FOTM as a site for public engagement that supports lessons for K-12, university, and museum education. NEH implementation funding will enable us to build tools for analyzing and visualizing data, managing student interaction, engaging the public, and establishing a prototype for future digital resources.