University of Virginia School of Law creates a digital archive depicting its ties to slavery

Digital archive by the UVA School of Law
Digital archive by the UVA School of Law(NBC29)
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 3:36 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2021 at 3:37 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia School of Law’s library is documenting the history of UVA during the antebellum period with the creation of a new digital archive. The website launched in January and was built by the library staff.

“The site is a mix of research that we have done and it’s also a digital archive to enable additional research. So we’ve done some research on UVA Law faculty in the antebellum era, looking at their history as enslavers. We’ve done some research on the building of the law school,” Randi Flaherty, a special collections librarian at UVA, said.

The site provides in-depth research on the history behind North Grounds, showcases handwritten essays by enslaved persons, and it features lecture notes from students attending the law school in the 1800s.

“We have scanned a number of antebellum law student notebooks, so these are notes they took on lectures dated from 1832 to 1862. We digitized them and made them available on the site so that users can go in and investigate how slavery was taught in the antebellum classroom,” Flaherty said.

Flaherty says this research is not complete, but it’s an ongoing effort. If you would like to visit the site, you can go to to learn more.

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