In Virginia, where slavery began in the American colonies in 1619, the Virginia Historical Society has discovered the identities of 3,200 slaves from unpublished private documents, providing new information for today’s descendants in a first-of-its-kind online database. Unknown No Longer is a database that is the latest step by the Society to increase access to its varied collections relating to Virginians of African descent. Since its founding in 1831, the VHS has collected unpublished manuscripts, a collection that now numbers more than 8 million processed items.
The Virginia Historical Society received a $100,000 grant to pore over some of its 8 million unpublished manuscripts — letters, diaries, ledgers, books and farm documents from Virginians dating to the 1600s — and began discovering the long-lost identities of the slaves.
Quoting from the Unknown No Longer Web site: