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Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery

Last Seen works to rectify one of slavery's many cruelties: separating families. The project archives Information Wanted Ads taken out by formerly enslaved individuals and helps connect people to their ancestors. The archival work is predominantly online, but some in-person events have brought additional dimension to the project's scope. For example, in 2019, a group of students and community members came together to read several of these stories aloud. On the Research page users can search for an advertisement by name, tag, or keyword. The project also has an educational dimension. Under the Teach tab educators will find lesson plans that explore enslavement and emancipation, built for K-12 and higher education settings. Last Seen is a collaborative effort and readers are welcome to participate in the transcription process, submit an advertisement, or share ancestral stories. The Department of History at Villanova University and Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church co-run the project, with Villanova History Professor Judith Giesberg directing and Mother Bethel AME's Archivist Margaret Jerrido consulting. Last Seen is funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission of the National Archives, along with multiple other centers and endowments.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
January 29th
Date Of Record Creation
January 7th at 12:35pm
Date Of Record Release
January 11th at 10:01am
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