Black History Month at the GTS Keller Library: Slavery and Anglicanism in the Long 18th Century


Courtesy of John Bethell, GTS '13.
Courtesy of John Bethell, M.Div., ’13.

The Christoph Keller, Jr. Library at The General Theological Seminary is known throughout the Anglican world for having extensive special collections that focus on historic materials relating to The Episcopal Church. We’ve had an amazing time these past few weeks getting ready to show the world a sampling of materials relating to slavery.

Courtesy of The Rev. K. Jeanne Person, Director, Center for Christian Spirituality.
Courtesy of the Rev. K. Jeanne Person, Director, Center for Christian Spirituality.
slave ship closeup
Courtesy of John Bethell, M.Div., ’13.

Featuring a 1765 contractual agreement between Samuel Seabury and his father-in-law Edward Hicks, and a 1797 receipt for the purchase of a slave by Jacob Sherred, this exhibit  explores colonial New York history as it relates to slavery and The Episcopal Church, with original materials relating to early New York and General Seminary history.  In conjunction with this exhibit, Reference Librarian, Mary Robison, gave a talk during the first week of classes to the students in Professor Shaner’s Slavery in the New Testament  course. This discussion touched on how to do research using primary source materials and electronic research databases available in the library, plus a bit of printing history for good measure. Find out more by visiting the library!

Other materials in the exhibit include Morgan Godwyn’s 1680 publication in favor of educating slaves, plus many publications from the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.

We are working with students to schedule a viewing of portions of the film Traces of the Trade, and we’ll let you know more about that event soon. Please see the Keller Library blog for more information, and come by and see the exhibit. It will be on display through mid-March.