Project to train citizen archivists, continue documentation of slave deeds in the lower Cape Fear region
Students from Cape Fear Community College will introduce the Let It Be Known project on Friday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m. in Union Station (Room U-170). The presentation will detail a research project conducted by CFCC students on pre-Civil War property records of enslaved persons from the archives of the New Hanover County Register of Deeds and introduce ways for others to become involved in the continuing project.
Under the direction of Dr. James Burke of CFCC’s Humanities and Fine Arts Department, more than 40 students located and transcribed the handwritten records dating back to the 1730’s. Small groups of students read the handwritten deeds page by page and recorded the names of the slaves, grantor, grantee, date of documents, book, page number, and other important facts about each document. The data gathered by the students was used to create a digital database of the records. By the spring of 2014, the first series of database spanning the years 1734 through 1820 was complete. It contained 6,607 entries.
The work has continued, and now the Let It Be Known project team is in the process of applying for a grant that will focus on the creation of a training program for “citizen archivists” so that more people can become involved.
Friday’s event is free and open to the public.