History Department

Slave Biographies


Slave Biographies: The Atlantic Database Network is an open access repository of information on the identities of enslaved people in the Atlantic World. It includes the names, ethnicities, skills, occupations, and illnesses of individual slaves involved in the Atlantic slave trade. It also connects slaves to family members creating a complex web of social and kinship networks. In this way Slave Biographies reveals much about slave life in the New World and about African slaves’ lives in parts of the Old World.

Slave Biographies also provides a platform for researchers of African slavery to contribute, analyze, visualize, utilize, and collaborate on data they have collected. The repository combines multiple, individual datasets in a way that is complimentary and creates a resource for quantitative data analysis and data visualizations about the Atlantic slave trade.


  • Professor Gwendolyn Hall, Professor in the MSU Department of History
  • Professor Walter Hawthorne, Professor of History and Chair of the MSU Department of History



➠Link to Episode 60 of the Africa Past and Present podcast series in which historians Gwendolyn Midlo Hall and Walter Hawthorne discuss the origins of the project, its intellectual and technological challenges, and the wider significance of building a freely accessible web database on the identities of enslaved people in the Atlantic World




➠Visit the Website