Wilberforce Institute library

Our research

Our unique strength is our understanding of both historical and contemporary slavery – learning from the past to create positive change today.

Our projects

Walking in the footsteps of Hull MP William Wilberforce, our influential research has received royal recognition and is helping governments, businesses and communities root out slavery at its very source - one of the greatest threats to human rights today.

group playing rugby - VPP
Ongoing Project

Violence Prevention Partnership

The Humber Violence Prevention Partnership (VPP) is one of 20 Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) across England and Wales, committed to leading and coordinating the local response to Serious Violence.

How UK asylum system creates perfect conditions for modern slavery and exploitation to thrive

What’s the value of cultural awareness?

Our research aims to provide reliable data on the link between systematic oppression and the risks of modern slavery in the UK

The Waterloo Family - Homelands Photography Project

Challenging perceptions of Sierra Leone

Our co-produced Homelands photography exhibition explores Sierra Leone's rich culture and heritage, while challenging perceptions of Hull's twin city

Transatlantic slavery map
Ongoing Project

The Scott Trust Legacies of Enslavement Report

Uncovering links between transatlantic slavery and the founders of the Manchester Guardian

Ongoing Project

The Legal Enforcement of Modern Slavery

Understanding how the legal enforcement of modern slavery has played out in practice.

Arrivals and Departures
Completed Project

Arrivals and Departures

A series of large-scale projections using some of Hull's best-known spaces to tell the story of migrants.

William Wilberforce
Completed Project

Virtual Wilberforce

Recreating Wilberforce to motivate more people to carry on the battle for freedom.

Illustrated image of woman
Completed Project

Antislavery Usable Past

Capturing lessons from the past to tackle modern-day slavery today.

Image of a dove carrying a green twig
Completed Project

Remembering 1807

Uncovering over 300 projects commemorating the anniversary of the Slave Trade Abolition Act.

Street art depicting a woman's face
Completed Project


International collaboration to better understand how museums interact with colonial histories.

Completed Project

Stolen Lives

An engaging educational resource highlighting modern slavery and our approach to tackling this.

Completed Project

Redrawing Slavery

A new approach to understanding the emergence of slavery and its development over time.

Transatlantic slave trade database
Completed Project

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

The initiative exposes the bleak truths of one of the biggest human rights crimes in history.