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Legacies of Enslavement at Queens' College

In the summer of 2020, a time of growing interest in the historic role of British universities in the transatlantic slave trade, Queens’ college instigated its own Legacies of Enslavement investigation. Following a series of college meetings, a number of fellows, students and librarians embarked on a prosopographical research exercise into the college’s former members. By collating data concerning the backgrounds and careers of students and fellows connected to Queens’ between 1550 and 1900, researchers were able to identify and record college connections with enslavement and empire more generally. Research has also been undertaken into relevant financial and other records in the college archives.

Initial findings informed a Queens’ Old Library exhibition, Enslavement and Salvation at Queens' College, that opened to the general public on 26 October 2022 with an evening of talks given by historians of enslavement from Queens' and the University of Cambridge. The physical exhibition closes in late March 2023 when it will form part of the Cambridge Festival.

Please see below links to both the online version of Enslavement and Salvation at Queens' College, and spreadsheets containing the research data amassed so far. We hope that this will form a basis for future research into the often complex and multidimensional parts played by Queens’ and the University of Cambridge in the history of enslavement. If you have data to contribute or would like to get involved in this research, please contact Queens’ Library: library@queens.cam.ac.uk.




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