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The ESSSS project, directed by Jane Landers and administered at Vanderbilt University, digitally preserves endangered ecclesiastical and secular documents related to Africans and African-descended peoples in slave societies. The ESSSS Digital Archive contains over 600,000 unique images, dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries, which document the history of between 4 and 6 million individuals. Although the focus is on Africans and their descendants, these records also include valuable information on the indigenous, European, and Asian populations who lived alongside them.

On this website you will find areas dedicated to each geographic entity -- Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and Spanish Florida -- and additional resources to assist in your research. We welcome feedback and encourage researchers to share the research and transcripts that they develop based on the ESSSS website.

* Image citations: The seventeenth-century map from the Kingdom of Granada, above, is a portion of the map: Nicolás Sanson, Terre ferme ou sont les governations ou gouvernemens de Terre ferme, Cartagene Ste. Marthe, Rio de la Hache, Venezuela, nouvelle Andalusie Popayein, nouveau royme de Grenade, &c. (Pierre Mariette, 1656). Map reproduction courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library.


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