Getting Word – Slavery at Monticello

Documents Compass

In preparation for the opening of a national exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History called “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty,” Documents Compass worked with the staff of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation to build a working system to process and house all of the oral histories and related archival content for the exhibit, in particular, for the content related to The Getting Word oral history project.

Beginning in 1993, Getting Word staff traveled over 40,000 miles, interviewing over 170 people, collecting the oral histories of the descendants of Monticello’s enslaved families. This rich treasure house of memories over seven generations is now available on line and at the exhibit. The Getting Word project began with a grant from the Virginia Foundation in the Humanities in the early 90s, and now has come to fruition for a worldwide audience.

Watch a three-minute video on the website to get a quick overview of the project.

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