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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.
This digital repository of materials documents the relationship of the Maryland Jesuits and Georgetown University to slavery. The project was initiated in February 2016 by the Archives Subgroup of the Georgetown University Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. Its editors and research assistants have surveyed primary sources held at Booth Family Center for Special Collections and other repositories to select pertinent documents for inclusion in this collection. The documents are transcribed and, if necessary, translated into English. Often, they are posted with supplementary information that can help contextualize a document.
The Georgetown Slavery Archive has also accepted materials from descendants of those enslaved by the Jesuits and the class projects of students, including podcasts and documentary videos that explore the legacy of slavery at Georgetown. It also provides recommendations for readings and lesson plans for secondary school teachers.
Dr. Adam Rothman, Professor of History, serves as its Curator. Elsa Barazza Mendoza, Ph.D., has served as its Assistant Curator.
A project derived from the Jesuit Plantation Project developed by Georgetown's American Studies department, Dr. Sharon M. Leon, Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University, surveyed the Archives of the Maryland Province, the Georgetown University Archives, and other records to create a database on those enslaved by the Jesuits. For each case of an enslaved or free Black person in the records, Leon recorded the place, relationships, date, event, and other information to create a linked data set and visualizations to learn more about the slave families and communities on the Jesuit plantations.
This project is building a shared method of collecting, organizing and describing historical data from universities whose students and faculty are exploring their historical roles in the injustices of slavery. A team of archivists and historians from Georgetown University, Michigan State University and the University of Virginia will identify records of events involving the enslaved that include transactions such as sales and hiring out; life course events such as births and deaths; and violence and abuse. The team will also create a descriptive vocabulary that can describe the archival holdings related to enslavement held at Georgetown and University of Virginia. These methods will serve as a model for other universities interested in describing their records.
The Omeka team at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is also collaborating on this project. Dr. Sharon M. Leon, Associate Professor of Digital History at MSU, serves as the Principal Investigator. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has provided a $550,000 grant to support this project.
This site provides maps of the Georgetown campus with vivid illustrations of the various sites connected to Georgetown's history of enslavement. This walking tour provides information on the people memorialized on campus, student activities associated with slavery, and places now associated with reconciliation.