Normalizing Metadata: Integrating Events, Places, Objects, and People into the Design of the Liberated Africans Project

Saturday, January 7, 2017: 9:30 AM
Mile High Ballroom 3A (Colorado Convention Center)
Henry Lovejoy, University of Colorado Boulder
After 1808, over 200,000 enslaved Africans were emancipated in an international effort to suppress and then abolish the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Intervention and prevention mostly involved the British Royal Navy (along with Portuguese, Brazilian, and Spanish naval ships) capturing slave ships and raiding coastal prisons. They would then escort the people responsible for engaging in the illegal slave trade, along with the rescued captives, into naval courts and bilateral commissions located in Africa and the Americas. The Liberated Africans Project reconstructs on a case-by-case basis widely dispersed archival evidence from an exceedingly rich, transnational collection of primary sources made by some of the world’s earliest international human rights courts. The long-term outcome of this project will be an interactive website that scholars, students and the general public can utilize to explore the history of antislavery and international human rights law, as well as the demography and ethnolinguistic composition of the post-1807 trans-Atlantic slave trade, principally from the perspective of the Africans involved. This paper focuses on how the design of involves a content-driven database network (KORA) to re-organize available data based on events, places, objects and the people involved.
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