Remembering Slavery 1807-2007

‘Remembering Slavery 1807-2007’ is a digital archive of records from UK projects which in 2007 commemorated the bicentenary of the abolition of the British transatlantic slave trade in 1807. It will be one of the major collections in our forthcoming Antislavery Then and Now digital resource, alongside exhibitions of contemporary slavery imagery, contemporary slave narratives, and photographs from Congo for use by local antislavery groups there. All will provide primary source materials to be used in future antislavery scholarship, teaching and learning.

Research for ‘Remembering Slavery 1807-2007’ is based at WISE, where we are working closely with heritage organisations around the UK to collect information and resources from the community groups, museums, galleries, archives, churches, theatres, schools, local authorities and other groups which remembered slavery and abolition in 2007. Alongside the archive of material from the exhibitions, performances, festivals, community initiatives and other events that took place in 2007, the resource will explore the different representations of slavery and abolition, and the relationships between commemorations and memory.

In their focus on thinking forward through the past, and what the persistence of slavery means for how we remember and commemorate moments of emancipation, we hope that our project resources will encourage shifts in how heritage partners tackle the topic of slavery, and offer potential changes in how the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire is approached in 2033.

‘Remembering Slavery 1807-2007’ will be launched in 2017 as part of Hull’s City of Culture celebrations. Please get in touch for further information, or if you organised an event to commemorate the bicentenary in 2007 and have surviving materials you would like to feature in the resource. Contact Dr Mary Wills,, to learn more.

Image information:

Schoolchildren from the Durham area took part in a recreation of the cramped conditions on the slave ship ‘Brooks’ on the city’s Palace Green in 2007, as part of an education project led by Durham University Library. Reproduced with permission from Durham University Library.

‘It wisnae us!’ An exhibition from 2007 which explored the links between Glasgow’s built heritage, tobacco, the slave trade and abolition. Reproduced with permission from Glasgow Building Preservation Trust.

A scene from ‘Sharp Practice’, a play about the slave trade and abolition devised and produced by Jackass Youth Theatre in collaboration with Jack Drum Arts in 2007. Reproduced with permission from Jack Drum Arts.

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