May 19, 2022

Emory University Awarded $300,000 Mellon Grant to Update and Expand the “Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database”

From Emory University:

Emory University has been awarded a grant of $300,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for use by the Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) to fund a new initiative allowing researchers at Emory, across the U.S. and abroad to update and expand the renowned website Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database hosted at Emory.

The new project, called “People of the Atlantic Slave Trade” (PAST), will provide information on any historical figure who can be linked to a slave voyage, enslaved and enslavers alike.


PAST brings together the work of 21 scholars whose expertise matches the geographical range of the transatlantic slave trade, says David Eltis, Emory professor of history emeritus and co-director of the project.

“PAST will create a biographical database of all those who have a documented link to any of the voyages in the transatlantic slave trade database, whether as an enslaved person, an African seller, a buyer in the Americas, a ship owner or a captain,” Eltis says.

PAST will be incorporated into and will be accessible to researchers and the public via its own interface.


Currently, ECDS is completing a re-coding and redesign of the Voyages site that will debut soon.

By mid-2018, also will offer a new database comprising 10,000 intra-American slave voyages that occurred within the Americas, usually carrying recent survivors of the middle passage.

Read the Complete Funding Announcement

See Also: New York State Slavery Records Index/Database Launched by John Jay College (January 31, 2018)

See Also: Michigan State University Awarded $1.5 Million Mellon Foundation Grant to Build Massive Slave Trade Database/Linked Open Data Platform (January 9, 2018)

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.