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HIUS 4501-2 Plantation in Motion: Expansion and Persistence in the Slave South, 1830-1860

Subject Guide

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Keith Weimer
408 Alderman Library
University of Virginia

Off-Grounds Access

Most databases are available only when you're connected to the UVa network. For off Grounds use you'll need a connection through the proxy server or UVaAnywhere. More information.

Searching Virgo

Library homepage is

                                           Search:     slave religion = Keywords

  • The new version of Virgo does not use Boolean connectors, such as and, or between terms.
  • Put a phrase within quotation marks ( "slave trade" )
  • Automatically does stemming of search terms (view, viewer, viewers, viewing)
  • You can further refine your search results by using the limiters on the left of the search results screen (find materials held in Special Collections by clicking on Special Collections under "Library")
  • Be sure you click on "Start Over" to perform a new search
  • When looking at results for a journal search, to determine which print volumes we own click on the title in the results list, then on "Access in Virgo Classic."



For historical  African American holdings in Special Collections and at other Virginia institutions , also see Afro-American Sources in Virginia: A Guide to Manuscripts , edited by Michael Plunkett. Look at "Table of Contents" to get a brief description of the African American collections at UVA. You can use "Searchable Text" to look for words or phrases appearing in those descriptions; keep these searches very simple.  Staff in Special Collections will also be happy to assist you in learning if they have holdings relevant to your topic.

Finding Journal Articles

A list of all our major online databases is found in Virgo at .  Remember, to access our databases from off-Grounds you need a proxy server account, or a UVA Anywhere or Anywhere-Lite account: see


America History & Life  Covers the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to present with records from 2,000 English-language journals published worldwide. Includes book reviews.

Search:  plantation AND childhood

JSTOR  Full-text backfiles of many important scholarly journals. Coverage is usually from the first issue to 3-5 years before the present.

Advanced Search: plantation architecture AND slavery  Limit to Articles  Discipline: Architecture & Architectural History

Historical Newspapers & Magazines

 A list of all our major online databases is found in Virgo at .  Remember, to access our databases from off-Grounds you need a proxy server account, or a UVA Anywhere or Anywhere-Lite account: see 


American Periodicals Series  Full text of over 1,000 magazines and journals published in the U.S. between 1740 and 1900.

Search for Articles: honor AND dueling     Date range: 1830 to 1860 


America's Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922  Searchable full text collection of U.S. newspapers.  Can limit by place.

Search: Atlanta = headline AND growth = full text   Date range: 1830-1860  Places of Publication = Georgia


Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers  Searchable full text and page images of several hundred U.S. newspapers from the 19th century.

Search:  fugitive slave law    By date: 1830-1860   Places of publication [hold down 'ctrl' as you  select]: Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi  


Newspapers we hold on microfilm:  To see which Virginia newspapers we have on microfilm go to the page listing newspaper microfilm holdings and enter Virginia in the "Search by State" box.  If you do not find a title there, be sure to also search Virgo.


Other Online Sources

American Memory: Library of Congress Primary source documents and archives for American history and culture from the Library of Congress. Includes printed text, collections of photographs, moving images, scanned manuscripts, etc. You can browse or search all of the collections, but pay special attention to the 17 African American history collections.


Documenting the American South  Primary sources that document the cultural history of the American South from the Southern point of view. Includes diaries, autobiographies, slave narratives, travel accounts, titles about slavery, and regional literature. Emphasis is on the 19th century. Browse "Collections" and in the "Subjects" index for items of interest.  You can also search the entire collection.


Making of America Digital archive from the University of Michigan and Cornell University featuring antebellum books and journals.  Includes DeBow's Review, Southern Quarterly, and Southern Literary Messenger. The Cornell collection can be viewed here.


North American Women's Letters and  Diaries  Searchable full text database of American and Canadian women's letters and diaries written from the Colonial period through 1950.

Advanced Search: slavery children  Proximity search: same sentence


Slave Narratives  Online slave narratives are found in the American Memory Project's "Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writer's Project, 1936-1938" and  Documenting the American South's "North American Slave Narratives" .  Also see "Microfilm Collections", below.


Valley of the Shadow  Details life in Augusta County, Va. and Franklin County, Pa. during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Contains letters, diaries, newspapers, speeches, census records and church records.

Microfilm Collections

Slave Narratives  The library has a number of slave narrative collections in microformat and print.  Collections in microform include Slave Narratives, a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves collected by the WPA (Alderman Micfilm 145).    A Virgo keyword search on 'slave narratives' will turn up additional print collections of narratives.

Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War  (Alderman Micfilm 1705) A huge filmed collection of plantation records held in libraries and historical societies throughout the South. There are some online guides to the collection, and also printed guides in the Microforms area.

Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century, Papers and Diaries (Alderman Micfilm 5727) Large collection of Southern women's letters, diaries, etc. filmed from the holdings of libraries throughout the South. Some guides are online and printed guides are in the Microforms area.

American Women's Diaries: Southern Women (Alderman Micfilm 2246)  Thirty-two diaries reflecting life in the South before, during, and after the Civil War. Printed guide available in the Microforms area.

Southern Historical Manuscripts: Plantation Records from the Department of Archives, Louisiana State University (Alderman Micfich 25) Includes correspondence, business and personal papers, and diaries which reveal many aspects of life on the plantations of Louisiana, southwestern Mississippi, and the lower Mississippi Valley during the 19th century.  Printed guide to the collection is in the Microforms area.

Travels in the Old South, 1527-1860 (Alderman Miccard 4) A microcard collection of  1,174 volumes containing travel accounts and letters of travelers in the South prior to the Civil War.  The print bibliography this collection is based upon can be used as an index, and is located in Alderman Reference Z1251 .S7 C4 1956.  Volume 3 covers the ante-bellum South from 1825-1860.

Newspapers we hold on microfilm:  To see which Virginia newspapers we have on microfilm go to the page listing newspaper microfilm holdings and enter Virginia in the "Search by State" box.  If you do not find a title there, be sure to also search Virgo.

African American Major Microfilm Collections lists some of the other major microfilm collections we have in African American history.  Note the State Slavery Statutes.

Printed Bibliographies

Harvard Guide to African-American History.  Edited by Evelyn B. Higgenbotham, Leon F. Litwack, Darlene C. Hine, and Randall Burkett.  Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001.  Alderman Reference E185 .H326 2001  An in-depth compilation of citations to the most important works published in African American history, covering political, social, and cultural issues.  It is mostly arranged chronologically.  For this class, consult the Table of Contents, Section 17-17.14.  Topics covered include resistance to slavery, law, crime and punishment, family, society, medicine and health, etc.

Black Slavery in the Americas: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography, 1865-1980.  Compiled by John D. Smith.  Wesport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982.   Alderman Reference Z7164 .S6 S63 1982   Two volumes.  Another good source for finding articles written about the social and cultural aspects of slavery and slave communities.