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Completed Project

Remembering 1807

Over 300 projects commemorating the anniversary of the Slave Trade Abolition Act were uncovered by Remembering 1807.

Project summary

The Challenge

Capturing the events that marked 200 years since the abolition of slavery.

The Approach

Researchers uncovered over 300 events held across the country to commemorate 1807.

The Outcome

Capturing all 300 events, the team created the first comprehensive collection of the year’s antislavery tributes.

Funded by

The Challenge

Capturing the events that marked 200 years since the abolition of slavery.

2007 marked the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. The UK held an explosion of events in commemoration. Prior to 2007, there had been little in terms of meaningful public discussion on slavery issues, making 2007 an important point of time antislavery history.

However, little or no attempt had been made to record this momentous year of activity. Posing the questions – what events are effective and where is public money best spent to deliver public awareness and impact around slavery issues?

As we approach further significant anniversaries and as a worldwide antislavery movement steadily gathers momentum, it is becoming increasingly important to understand what is, and is not, effective in highlighting contemporary slavery.

The Approach

Large capital projects and tiny, locally driven activities like history trails, exhibits, books, and live performances were among the initiatives. The urgency of the effort was due to the fact that many of these left little to no evidence.

The team produced the first comprehensive compilation of the year's antislavery tributes by digitally recording all 300 events.

The collection is a component of our large, overarching Antislavery Usable Past project, which draws lessons from the past to inform current campaigns and public policy.

The Impact

The Remembering 1807 project unearthed historical insights to inform current campaigns and policy-making.  It impacted the development of a comprehensive collection of the year's antislavery tributes. It will develop useful tools for scholars, educators, policymakers, and the general public to aid in the abolition of slavery and offer anti-slavery activists useful counsel and motivation.