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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

An Introduction - Study of the Slave Trade

Sources for the study of the Slave Trade in Archives and Heritage

These pages are intended to act as a bridge into archives for anyone who has not worked with original records before. It includes copy documents, and transcripts of those documents which are hand-written.

It does not aim to be a text book, a history of Birmingham's links with the slave trade, or even a definitive guide to the sources available in Birmingham relating to that theme. It should help anyone who would like to start a project by providing some idea of the type of records available and help with reading old documents. The hope is that you will be encouraged to do your own research and thus add to our knowledge!

The connections between Birmingham itself and the slave trade are not always obvious, and this is an area that would benefit from much more detailed research. One aim of this pack is to show something of the wide range of sources found in Archives and Heritage. Information on a particular subject will be found throughout various different collections, and indexes are available in the search-room.

When beginning any research into archival sources, it is always best to start by reading published material, before moving on to original documents. It is also a good idea to establish whether the research topic you have chosen is viable in the time and using the sources available at as early a stage as possible. Material relevant to this topic can be found in several sections of Central Library, including Archives and Heritage, Social Sciences, Arts, Languages and Literature. Local community libraries will be able to supply relevant books.

All the material in this pack may be copied for educational use with groups or classes.

If you wish to reproduce any of this material for any other purpose, please contact Birmingham City Archives.

Slave Trade Main Menu
Features on Black History in Birmingham Menu
Black History in Birmingham Libraries
Early Black Presence in Birmingham, The
The Trade Connections Between Birmingham and the West Indies
Joseph Sturge and the Anti-Slavery Society
'Some Common Bond'
Olaudah Equiano
Diversity in Birmingham Libraries