Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History & Culture Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva's Black History

About the Project

Exploring Delmarva's Black History

Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva’s Black History is a long-term digital humanities project at the Nabb Research Center that features a searchable database for finding meaningful connections within digitized and transcribed sources, such as censuses, certificates of freedom, church records, newspapers, ledgers, and oral histories that illuminate the history of Black communities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (and beyond) across the Delmarva Peninsula. In an effort to preserve and promote the study of the region’s diverse history, this project aims to bridge long-existing gaps in archival and genealogical collections representing Black history and culture.

Man on boat in water

The project assists in preserving and making accessible the rich history and culture of Delmarva’s Black communities through a searchable database with information compiled from public records in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as collections at the Nabb Research Center and other regional institutions. The sources within Enduring Connections help reveal important elements of Black life on Delmarva including family relationships, community connections, the end of slavery, attempts to re-unite family members, work and wealth-building, and connection to the land and water.

As new connections are discovered between records, individuals, and themes throughout Black history will be featured on our stories page.

Project team:

  • Dr. Creston Long (Nabb Center Director)
  • Ian Post (Local History Archivist)
  • Jen Piegols (University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian)
  • Katie Prinkey (Curator of Exhibits and Engagement)
  • Aaron Horner (Research Assistant)
  • Donna Messick (Administrative Assistant)
  • Chris Woodall (Technology Librarian)

Founded in 1982, the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture, located on the campus of Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland, is a repository for historical documents and artifacts from the Delmarva Peninsula, which encompasses the Eastern Shore counties of Maryland and Virginia and the southern counties of Delaware. The Nabb Center’s collections are at the core of its mission and vision of “advancing the preservation and understanding of Delmarva’s historical and cultural heritage while serving as a primary resource for students, historical organizations, and scholars.” For questions, please email the Nabb Research Center.