May 21, 2022

New Dataset: Louisiana Freed Slaves Data Now Available From Matrix Center Slave Biographies Project

From the Michigan State University (MSU) Matrix Center for the Digital Humanities & Department of History:

MSU Matrix Center for the Digital Humanities and the Department of History are pleased to announce the publication online of data about almost 3,000 freed slaves that were living in the city of New Orleans in the decades preceding the Civil War. The “Free Blacks” dataset was created from The Mayor’s Register of Free Blacks in the City of New Orleans from 1840 to 1864. Dr. Mitchell, of the University of Arkansas Little Rock, transcribed and translated all of the first volumes of French text. The data was also isolated into fields to lead the user to a variety of other data sources in the city relating to the individuals within. For example, a user can look at the number of manumissions from the same notary or from the same time period. The database is a finding aid for those collections, it list specific notaries and dates of filing, specific baptism records, and has been correlated to specific emancipation records were applicable.

All of this research was self-funded by Dr. Brian Mitchell, who is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He has now lived in Arkansas for nearly ten years. He teaches in the History Department at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and his interests include African American Antebellum History, free black communities, and Urban History. He is currently working on several digital projects which pertain to free blacks in the Antebellum South and commemoration of the 1919 Elaine Riot.

Read the Complete Blog Post

Direct to Slave Biographies Databases
Links to datasets.

Direct to Slave Biographies: The Atlantic Database Network
Project homepage and search interface. 

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.