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Gullah/Geechee History and Culture

Digital Collections

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the Gullah/Geechee culture, including interviews, manuscripts, images, maps, and sound recordings.

Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories

The recordings of former slaves in this collection took place between 1932 and 1975 in nine states. Twenty-three interviewees discuss how they felt about slavery, slaveholders, coercion of slaves, their families, and freedom. Several individuals sing songs, many of which were learned during the time of their enslavement. It is important to note that all of the interviewees spoke sixty or more years after the end of their enslavement, and it is their full lives that are reflected in these recordings. The individuals documented in this presentation have much to say about living as African Americans from the 1870s to the 1930s, and beyond.

Selected Audio Interviews

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1938

This collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves.  These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration, later renamed Work Projects Administration (WPA).  At the conclusion of the Slave Narrative project, a set of edited transcripts was assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. In 2000-2001, with major support from the Citigroup Foundation, the Library digitized the narratives from the microfilm edition and scanned from the originals 500 photographs, including more than 200 that had never been microfilmed or made publicly available.  This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript and Prints and Photographs divisions of the Library of Congress.

Selected Interviews from the Collection

Search Tip: When you access each volume listed below, locate the "Download:" drop-down menu. With "PDF" as the default display, click on the “Go” button to view the PDF.  Use (Ctl+F) keyboard shortcut to view a search box for the file.  Search each PDF with keyword “island” to find individual interviews that include this keyword.  The following is a selected list.





The Library's digital collection of photos, prints, and drawings is vast, numbering over 850,000 items in approximately 120 collections, representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and, in some cases, other units of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress offers broad public access to these materials as a contribution to education and scholarship.

Selected Images

Search Tip: To find more items related to each catalog record below, click on relevant subject heading links within the record, located on the bottom right hand side of the page.

American Revolution and Its Era: Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750 to 1789

The maps and charts in this online collection number well over two thousand different items, with easily as many or more unnumbered duplicates, many with distinct colorations and annotations. Almost six hundred maps are original manuscript drawings, a large number of which are the work of such famous mapmakers as John Montrésor, Samuel Holland, Claude Joseph Sauthier, John Hills, and William Gerard De Brahm.

Selected Map from this Collection

General Maps

This category includes maps that typically portray the physical environment and a variety of cultural elements for a geographic area at a particular point in time. The maps in this category show a geographic area larger than a city or town and do not display a subject that is part of one of the thematic categories.

Maps Selected from this Collection

Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections, 1937 to 1942

Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections combines sound recordings and manuscript materials from four discrete archival collections made by Work Projects Administration (WPA) workers from the Joint Committee on Folk Arts, the Federal Writers' Project, and the Federal Music Project from 1937-42. This online presentation provides access to 376 sound recordings and 106 accompanying materials, including recording logs, transcripts, correspondence between Florida WPA workers and Library of Congress personnel, and a proposal to survey Florida folklore by Zora Neale Hurston.

Selected Sound Recordings

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, including manuscripts, broadsides, government documents, books, and maps. These guides provide links to digital materials related to these states these Sea Island states that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, the guides provide links to external websites focusing on a bibliography containing selected works for both general and younger readers.