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Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation at Lauinger Library

This guide highlights the primary source documents at Lauinger Library that supports the goals of Georgetown University's Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation Initiative.

First-year writing students examining documents related to the establishment of slavery on the Jesuit plantations in Maryland in exhibition "From Mission to Social Justice."

For Instruction

The Booth Family Center for Special Collections is committed to supporting the Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation Initiative by encouraging students to explore the legacy of slavery and the impact of racism by using primary sources and object-based learning. The experience of handing primary source documents often leads students to feel personally connected to a subject and can help make tangible abstract concepts, for example: 

  • the ideologies that justified slavery and colonization
  • the experiences of captive and free Black people
  • the impact of the slave trade upon Black families
  • the expulsion and segregation of Black and indigenous people from communities
  • the economies that exploited enslaved people, tenant farmers, domestic workers, and laborers

Classroom sessions can be tailored around your needs. Possibilities include:

  • Identification and presentation of documents from Booth Center for Special Collections that can stimulate class discussion, be used as sources in student papers, or help inspire creative projects. 
  • Demonstration of search tools and databases that can be used to construct bibliographies for independent projects or class assignments.
  • Discussion of concepts such as provenance, context, agency, absences, authority and privilege that will help students consider marginalized peoples as they interpret sources.
  • Pop-up exhibits of compelling works of art, rare books, and documents.

Although most instruction takes place in a single session within a semester, it is possible to schedule a series of instructional sessions. It is also possible to offer direct research consultations to students working on independent or class projects. 

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