The National Museum of African American History and Culture has announced the launch of the Freedmen’s Bureau Search Portal – a comprehensive search platform allowing users to search over 1.7 million pages of Freedmen’s Bureau records.
From the announcement:
The portal allows users to search records from the United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. Congress created the Freedmen’s Bureau after the Civil War to assist in the political and social reconstruction of post-war Southern states and to help formerly enslaved African Americans transition from slavery to freedom and citizenship. From 1865 to 1872, the Freedmen’s Bureau created and collected over 1.7 million handwritten records containing the names and information of hundreds of thousands of formerly enslaved individuals and Southern white refugees.
The platform makes records available that have been undergoing digitization and crowdsourced transcription since 2015. The project’s announcement calls for additional volunteers to contribute to the Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project:
The museum is leading a volunteer effort to transcribe the digitized records of the Freedmen’s Bureau so they can be more useful for scholars and genealogists researching the Reconstruction era. To learn more about the Freedmen’s Bureau Project, the public can visit the Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center on the museum’s second floor or the Smithsonian Transcription Center webpage to volunteer.
This post was produced through a cooperation between Kayla Abner, Lisa Bonifacic, Carla Brooks, Ruth Carpenter, Tierney Gleason, Jennifer Matthews, Danelle Orange, Rebecca Saunders and Jennifer AW Stubbs (Editors-at-Large), Pamella Lach and Rachel Starry (Editors for the week), Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara, Linsey Ford, Hillary Richardson (dh+lib Review Editors), and John Russell (Editor in Chief).