Welcome to

Slave Societies Digital Archive

In collaboration with partners around the globe, the Slave Societies Digital Archive is dedicated to the preservation and free dissemination of endangered records documenting the history of Africans and their descendants across the Atlantic World.

About Our Work

The Archive

The Slave Societies Digital Archive (formerly Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies) preserves the most extensive serial records for the history of Africans in the Atlantic World and includes valuable information about the indigenous, European, and Asian populations who lived alongside them. SSDA holdings include more than 700,000 digital images dating from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries that document the lives of an estimated four to six million individuals. SSDA teams digitized most of these records, but generous scholars have also donated smaller personal collections to our archive.

SSDA’s primary goal is to identify, catalogue, and preserve endangered records for the study of slave societies, but our teams have also produced transcriptions of these unique documents linked to the original images. This site also features related resources to assist scholars in their research. We welcome feedback and encourage researchers to share any work that they develop using the Slave Societies Digital Archive.

Reconstructing Communities


Many thanks to the sponsors whose generous contributions have made our work possible.