Digital Library on American Slavery

People Not Property - Slave Deeds of North Carolina

The People Not Property project is a collaborative endeavor between the UNCG University Libraries, North Carolina Division of Archives and Records, and North Carolina Registers of Deeds among others. Working as an addition to and evolution of the Digital Library on American Slavery, the project is leading towards a unique, centralized database of bills of sales indexing the names of enslaved people from across North Carolina.

When complete, People Not Property - Slave Deeds of North Carolina will include robust metadata, high resolution images, and full-text searchable transcripts. We hope to open the project to states beyond North Carolina, creating a central location for accessing and researching slave deeds from across the Southern United States.

Current Progress

UNC Greensboro University Libraries has received a three-year, $294,603 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to digitize nearly 10,000 North Carolina slave deeds and bills of sale, create a comprehensive database for the digitized records and transcribe the full text of these documents.

Grant funding and project development begins on October 1, 2018

More Information


Maintained by ERIT, University Libraries, UNCG

This project is made possible through funding from the National Archives.

National Historic Publications and Records Commission