Digital Access Project Partnership to Make Local Slave Records Visible, Accessible – UKNow – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 20, 2022) — More than 60,000 pages of Fayette County’s historical property records containing information about enslaved people from the late 1700s through 1865 will soon be available to the public online thanks to a partnership between the Fayette County Clerk, University of Kentucky’s Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS), the Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative, Blue Grass Community Foundation and its Knight Foundation Donor Advised Charitable Fund.

The Fayette County Clerk began digitizing documents during the 1990s, but the books of historical property records remained solely on paper, including transactions detailing names of individuals sold and purchased as slaves, mortgages naming enslaved people as collateral, and probate documents with names of enslaved people listed as part of the deceased’s estate. Generations of their descendants have been searching for biographical information to piece together their family histories, but these clues have only been accessible by viewing the paper records in person at the County Clerk’s office.

Bringing these documents onli

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