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If you are new to the study of slavery, we recommend these resources as good places to start. 


1745 highlights a forgotten part of Scotland’s history: while Scotland was fighting for its national freedom in that fateful year, its economy was in large part founded on the booming colonial slave trade. While the majority of slavery happened elsewhere - off-stage, across the Atlantic - there were African slaves here, kept as trophies and pets in the houses of their rich merchant masters. 1745 was inspired by advertisements that writer, Morayo Akandé, discovered for runaway slaves, placed in Scottish newspapers of the time.

Slavery: Scotland’s Hidden Shame 
David Hayman presents this two-part BBC documentary exploring Scotland's role in the transatlantic slave trade.


Deirdre Coleman, Henry Smeathman, the Flycatcher: Natural History, Slavery, and Empire in the Late Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 2018)
This book brings the scientific journeys of Henry Smeathman, the ‘Flycatcher’ to life. Smeathman’s sojourns in Sierra Leone, including his warm welcome at a Scottish-owned slave trading fort in the mouth of the Sierra Leone river resulted in a wealth of entomology data and samples, some of which was transported aboard slave ships to the collection of William Hunter. His experiences also made him a staunch anti-slave trade campaigner, and his recommendations based on his scientific knowledge led to the founding of Freetown.

Stephen Mullen, It Wisnae Us: The Truth about Glasgow and Slavery 
This publication by the University of Glasgow's Dr Stephen Mullen examines the role of Glasgow as both perpetrator and opponent of slavery.


Slave Voyages
This website gives free access to both the Transatlantic Slave Trade Database and the new Intra-American Slave Trade Database. These databases contain records of 36,000 slaving expeditions between Africa and the Americas and 10,000 slave shipments between American colonies, such as Jamaica, Barbados and North America. Users can also study the directions and size of the trade, the role of specific British ports and the involvement of particular ship captains and ship owners in the slave trade.

Explore our Collections
Explore the collections of the University of Glasgow Library and The Hunterian.  
Make an appointment with a subject specialist.
Find out more about study opportunities.