Frederick Douglass Project

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The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections and the Frederick Douglass Institute welcome you to the University of Rochester Frederick Douglass Project.

This project seeks to digitize all of the Frederick Douglass materials held in the collections of the University of Rochester Library. The work will be undertaken by undergraduates, that they may have a greater understanding of Douglass by working with the letters and newspapers he composed.

Frederick Douglass spent 25 crucial years of activism in Rochester. The University's collections hold over 100 letters that date from before the Civil War, when Douglass was editor of The North Star, an anti-slavery newspaper which he published in Rochester, to a few years prior to his death in 1895. In addition, the collection also includes photographs of Douglass and copies of his newspapers.

Currently available on the website are:

  • Images of Douglass and people in his circle of correspondence
  • A list of Douglass' correspondents
  • A list and images of all the letters in the collection arranged by date and by correspondent
  • Essays by undergraduate Douglass Interns with transcriptions and images of the letters they used
  • Lesson plans and document-based-questions for elementary and high school teachers
  • Selected writings of Douglass and others
  • Links to other Douglass-related websites

Future additions to the site will include more images from the Collections, more essays from future Project participants, and Douglass materials held in the collections of regional libraries. We hope that you will visit the Project again as it continues to grow.

General information about the project, including the editorial practices employed, is available here.

For more information, to ask questions, or to share comments, please contact us.