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The New York Slavery Records Index (NYSRI) is moving to a new site – the Northeast Slavery Records Index. (NESRI) All of the records and features of the NYSRI are available at the NESRI. However, the Northeast Slavery Records Index also includes records from the states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. NESRI also includes an enhanced search system that is focused on places – counties, cities, towns and even entire states – presenting all of the records for a location you select in an essay with dynamically updated tables.

We will eventually take down the NYSRI, but not until the end of 2021. However all of the records and features of the NYSRI are already set up in the Northeast Slavery Records Index, so you should not hesitate to use it now.

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The New York Slavery Records Index is a searchable compilation of records that identify individual enslaved persons and their owners, beginning as early as 1525 and ending during the Civil War.

Our data come from census records, slave trade transactions, cemetery records, birth certifications, manumissions, ship inventories, newspaper accounts, private narratives, legal documents and many other sources. The index contains over 39,000 records and will continue to grow as our team of John Jay College professors and students locates and assembles data from additional sources.

Our goal is to deepen the understanding of slavery in New York by bringing together information that until now has been largely disconnected and difficult to access. This allows for searches that combine records from all indexed sources based on parameters such as the name of an owner, a place name, and date ranges.

To access the index or to learn more about its construction, use the navigation bar above:

  • SEARCH is the portal for inputting parameters to access particular records.
  • Search Instructions provides tips on how to get started.
  • Sources lists the types of records included in the index; bibliographic references; and all the database fields used to construct the index.
  • Project Team describes the faculty and students responsible for assembling and organizing the index.
  • Comments provides access to a survey for users to offer suggestions, identify additional records and collections of records to be indexed, and also to identify errors that we would correct.