Open Data for Historical Research: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

Culminating several decades of collaboration between researchers and archives spanning four continents, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database comprises the most comprehensive source of historical data on the slave trade, and is freely available over the Internet. The Voyages Database, its core tool, offers researchers an intuitively friendly interface for searching among nearly 35,000 discrete slave voyages undertaken between 1514 and 1866. Data points for individual voyages include things like: ship name; flag(s); owners; place(s) of slave purchase; place(s) of slave landing; numbers of slaves that died in transit; and much more.

Three ancillary databases provide estimates of the volume of trade for particular periods, regions, and itineraries; images of documents, maps, and illustrations; and the African names of individual slaves that were recorded for particular voyages. Additional resources include a series of interpretive essays by contributing scholars, and a set of lesson plans for the K-12 audience.

Access the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database at