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Virginia Slave Housing Project

2007 VSHP photograph of a saddle-bag Slave House at Mineral Springs, Brunswick County, Virginia.
2008 VSHP photograph of the Slave House at Ivy Cliff, Bedford County, Virginia.

The Virginia Slave House Project (VSHP) seeks to compile information on the domestic architecture of slavery in Virginia. It gathers information from archaeological sites, period documents such as census and tax records, and surviving buildings in rural and urban settings. Beyond facilitating scholarly research, it encourages public awareness and preservation of slave-related buildings, many of which are in danger of being lost due to neglect or purposeful demolition.

Information has been gathered on more than 900 structures and dendrochronology has been carried out on eight extant slave houses. A detailed report, “Measuring the Social, Spatial, and Temporal Dimensions of Virginia Slave Housing,” and the data collected from the project are available to the public through a website hosted by the Center for Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington.

VSHP Website