Building a Linked Open Data Platform for the study and exploration of the historical slave trade.

Please revisit the Enslaved Conference by viewing the videos at the Matrix YouTube channel.  

In recent years, a growing number of archives, databases, and collections that organize and make sense of records of enslavement have become freely and readily accessible for scholarly and public consumption. This proliferation of projects and databases presents a number of challenges: 


  • Disambiguating and merging individuals across multiple datasets is nearly impossible given their current, siloed nature;
  • Searching, browsing, and quantitative analysis across projects is extremely difficult;
  • It is often difficult to find projects and databases;
  • There are no best practices for digital data creation;
  • Many projects and datasets are in danger of going offline and disappearing.


In response to these challenges, Matrix: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University, in partnership with the MSU Department of History and scholars at multiple institutions, has begun work on Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade, a constellation of software and services built to address these challenges. Enslaved’s primary focus is people—individuals who were enslaved, owned slaves, or participated in slave trading. 

Enslaved Conference Livestream

The Enslaved Conference at Michigan State University was livestreamed and uploaded to the Matrix Youtube channel here. You can watch the first segment below. The full conference can be viewed as a playlist on the Matrix youtube...

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Less than two weeks until the Enslaved Conference, March 8-9

In under two weeks, the Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade International Conference will be taking place at Michigan State University. The conference is taking place from March 8-9, 2019 in the RCAH Theatre, Snyder Hall, Terrace Level, 362 Bogue St., East...

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Enslaved would not be possible without the support and input of many partner scholars, projects, and institutions. Find out more about our partners by selecting below.