W. Caleb McDaniel

Slave Sales on Twitter

The availability of digitized historical sources through sites like UNT's Portal to Texas History creates new opportunities for non-historians to encounter history, especially in the online social media spaces where many people already spend time. For example, this talk will briefly describe the rationale for two history "Twitter bots" built by McDaniel that use materials found in the Portal to introduce broader audiences to the history of slavery in the United States. One bot in particular, @Every3Minutes, leverages the unique features of Twitter as a social media platform to communicate a scholarly point about the pervasiveness of the domestic slave trade in the antebellum United States.

W. Caleb McDaniel is Associate Professor of History at Rice University.  He is the author of the prize-winning book The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform, as well as numerous articles on slavery and abolitionism. You can find him on Twitter and GitHub as @wcaleb.

Kyle Ainsworth

Access is Opportunity: The Texas Runaway Slave Project and the Portal to Texas History

The groundwork for Texas slavery research have been in place for 150 years, but only in the last decade has the paradigm shifted. Traditional research, highlighted by UNT's own Randolph Campbell in 1989's An Empire for Slavery, utilized analog original and microfilmed archival manuscript collections and deed, probate and tax records to explore the compelling history of Texas slavery. Access to these amazing resources is now augmented by digital records. This presentation is a case study of the Texas Runaway Slave Project, which would not exist without the access to historical Texas newspapers provided by UNT's Portal to Texas History.

Kyle Ainsworth is the Special Collections Librarian at the East Texas Research Center, Ralph W. Steen Library, Stephen F. Austin State University. He has an undergraduate degree in history from the College of William and Mary and master's degrees in history and library science from the University of Southern Mississippi. For the past three years he has been project manager of the Texas Runaway Slave Project. 


This event is sponsored by the UNT Department of History and the UNT Libraries Digital Scholarship Workgroup.


Monday, November 16, 2015 -
1:00pm to 3:00pm


Willis Library
Room 250H