Blog Post 3




Some topics I started searching for first were, “African Methodist Episcopal” (AME) church, but I couldn’t really find anything around the 1818 time period, like what was discussed in Chapter 4 in Schermerhorn.  In addition, I tried searching “1820 Richmond Virginia”, “1820 South Carolina”, just to get a general idea of what was happening there.  I wasn’t successful, it may be because of the year I entered, it’s too specific.  For the websites, I first attempted to get items at the Smithsonian Natural Museum of Natural History and wasn’t able to find any pictures or texts.  Then I tried the Library of Congress website and searched up “Anti-Slavery”.  Thankfully, the search results have the date, and I refined by adding a contributor, “American Anti-Slavery Society”, this is how I found my picture and text.  Next time I am searching for sources, I learned I need to think broad first.

My image item I posted, shows an enslaved African American in chains with the banner, Am I not a man and a brother?  It is from an anti-slavery poem, “Our Countrymen in Chains,” written by John Greenleaf Whittier.  Originally in the 1780s, the design was created by Josiah Wedgwood and was intended as the seal of the Society for the Abolition of Slavery in England.  It was displayed on medallions for the society as early as 1787.  

The image had most of the necessary information, like publisher, contributors, coverage, type of material and dimensions.  Also, the creator Josiah Wedgwood or in this case, John Greenleaf Whittier, where this image was used for his poem.  They do not have an exact date, but the design was created in 1787 and later for the poem in 1837.  I could not find the information (or understand) when Omeka asked for the type and identifier. 

For the text item I chose, Declaration of the Anti-Slavery Convention. Assembled in Philadelphia, December 4, 1833.  The main text is a manifesto, promoting the formation of a national anti-slavery society and enumerating its goals. On the sides are quotations from Scripture condemning the evils of slavery.  Unfortunately, I cannot zoom in enough to read what the manifesto says, so this is based on the description provided from the source.  

Similar to the image, there were not many holes in the background information.  The areas I was not sure or could not enter was coverage, type, and identifier.  The source gave the creator, an exact date, publisher, contributors and the medium along with the dimensions.

One thought on “Blog Post 3

  1. I also face a similar experience every time I use search features on digital collections. It doesn’t help that the algorithm is trying to perfectly match your search terms to titles of sources, either. I have found that starting broad and narrowing the results using the “refine your search” controls on the results page is the easiest way to research online.

    With that said, these are great visual and text resources! I am particularly intrigued by the poem, mostly because I love using diverse forms of literature as historical sources. The same goes for the manifesto– a very socially and politically charged piece of writing that gives a unique perspective.

    As for the zooming issue, sometimes it helps to download a high-resolution image of the document, and attempting to zoom using a photo viewer on the computer.

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