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Black Craftspeople Digital Archive

From 1619 to beyond, Black craftspeople, both free and enslaved, worked to produce the valued architecture, handcrafts, and decorative arts of the American South. The Black Craftspeople Digital Archive seeks to enhance what we know about Black craftspeople by telling both a spatial story and a historically informed story that highlights the lives of Black craftspeople and the objects they produced. The first and second phases of this project focus on Black craftspeople living and laboring in the eighteenth-century South Carolina Lowcountry and mid-nineteenth century Tennessee.

Building the Archive

Currently, you can explore hundreds of collected records documenting the lives and experiences of Black craftspeople involved in 45 trades in South Carolina and Tennessee. 

Contribute your Research

We are interested in your personal digital submissions (including images, stories, audio, or video) that document the lives and legacies of Black craftspeople.