Enslaved.org contains information on hundreds of thousands of individuals involved in the historical slave trade — including enslaved people, slave owners, and slave traders.
Enslaved.org’s primary focus is people—individuals who were enslaved, owned slaves, or participated in slave trading.
The project identified the following five objectives:
People: Build an interconnected system of services and tools that would (1) Allow individuals involved in the slave trade to be identified and recognized across all participating project databases; (2) Allow those identified and recognized individuals to be searched, explored and visualized in the Enslaved.org Hub; (3) Connect those individuals to particular events and places with a Disambiguation Tool in Enslaved.org; and (4) Create at least 25 interactive biographies of people of the slave trade as exemplary models.
Linked Open Data (LOD): To accomplish the focus on people, we are using Linked Open Data (LOD) with the help of Wikibase and support of Wikimedia Deutschland to interconnect individual projects and databases. A LOD-based approach facilitates federated searching and browsing across all linked project data on the Hub. It also creates a network and community framework that supports the preservation of current and future slave data projects.
Best practices and workflow: For online database projects, which are proliferating at a rapid pace, scholars have not agreed on best practices. The Hub is a space for disseminating best practices for data collection, metadata standards, ontologies, and workflows. It also provides guidance for participating in the Hub.
Scholarly recognition: The project instituted an editorial board to review datasets and projects to be included in the Hub. Having an editorial board ensures the quality of the data, and emphasizes that the database or project has been published and is worthy of consideration for scholarly credit in review processes.
Preservation and sustainability: The Hub provides a space for preservation of datasets and helps identify projects in danger of going offline. All facets are open source and contribute to developing a wide community to support the sustainability of the project.
Enslaved.org is brought to you by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Matrix, Michigan State University, and the University of Maryland.