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Anti-Slavery Collection: Primary Source Materials at the BPL

This guide provides researchers and students with access to resources related to the American Anti-Slavery movement of the 19th century in New England.

Primary Source Collections Related to Anti-Slavery at the BPL

Weston Sisters CorrespondenceThe Boston Public Library's Anti-Slavery collection contains approximately 40,000 pieces of correspondence as well as newspapers and broadsides, photographs, pamphlets, books, and realia. The major holdings consist of the personal papers of abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison, Maria Weston Chapman and her sisters, Wendell Phillips, John Brown, Lydia Maria Child, Amos Augustus Phelps, and Samuel May Jr. The collection also includes organizational documents and records of the American, Massachusetts, New England, and Female Anti-Slavery Societies.

Most content is available via Digital Commonwealth and the Internet Archive. Physical materials are held primarily by the Rare Books & Manuscripts Department (some prints and photographs are housed in the Print Department). For contact information, please refer to the Collection Overview tab.

Manuscripts & Correspondence

Visual & Printed Materials

Finding Aids and Pathfinders

A variety of legacy finding aids and paper pathfinders exist for this collection. Not all material has been electronically cataloged or digitized; some items are documented via physical catalog cards. Contact the Rare Books & Manuscripts Department for more information.