Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Exhibit to Explore University of Alabama's Ties to Slavery

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Exhibit to Explore University of Alabama's Ties to Slavery

Article excerpt

An exhibit of materials related to the University of Alabama's history with slavery is scheduled to be displayed in February in UA's Gorgas Library.

The display, which will open on Feb. 3 and close in early March, is based on work by UA senior Benjamin Flax, who is researching UA's ties to slavery as part of an independent research project supervised by history professor Josh Rothman, director of UA's Summersell Center for the Study of the South.

The display will be exhibited in the Gorgas Library in the Williams Americana Collection. It will include a collection of approximately 40 original documents, transcriptions and other research materials used by Flax. The exhibit is a sampling of the materials available at UA, though it represents less than a quarter of the documents the senior said he has used in his research. It will be open to the public during the Williams collection's regular hours of 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays.

Flax has been researching handwritten board of trustee minutes from the 19th century, old financial information related to university-owned slaves such as bills of sale and receipts for lodging and clothing, and historical accounts available in UA's collections. "The project turned into much more than I ever expected," he said.

Flax's work, so far, is based on a "minute part" of what is available through university records and other sources. …

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