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Amanda Smith  Booker T. Washington  Title Page from A Narrative of Events Since the First of August, 1834, by James Williams  Hallie Q. Brown  Portrait of Omar ibn Said 
Introduction to the Scholarly Bibliography of Slave and Ex-Slave Narratives
by William L. Andrews
E. Maynard Adams Professor of English
Series Editor

This bibliography is based on the work of  William L. Andrews, Series Editor of the DocSouth collection "North American Slave Narratives."

The bibliography is a list of citations of known North American Slave Narratives. It serves as a research tool for scholars interested in this literary tradition and its publication history. This bibliography is composed of three sections, which correspond to the three basic kinds of slave narratives: autobiographical, biographical, and fictionalized. The first and major section of the bibliography lists all known separately published autobiographies in English by slaves or former slaves who wrote or dictated their life stories for publication. Unless they are covered by copyright, almost all of these autobiographies have been digitized and included in "North American Slave Narratives" collection—a reconstruction of the entire tradition of autobiographical slave narratives in English from the beginning of this genre in the mid-eighteenth century up to 1925. The second section of the bibliography lists separately published biographical works in English by or about slaves or former slaves. While the aim of the Autobiographies section of this bibliography is to create a complete listing of autobiographical slave or ex-slave narratives in English, the texts listed under Biographies comprise a substantial representative sampling of this sub-genre of the Slave Narrative. The final section of this bibliography represents fictitious or highly fictionalized narratives that purport to be the life stories of slaves or former slaves but are either wholesale inventions or so novelized that the preponderance of the text constitutes invention rather than historical fact.

This bibliography does not presume to be final. Representing more than twenty years of research into the slave narrative in English, the bibliography remains an ongoing project, the goal of which is to maintain on the internet a bibliographical resource that can be expanded and refined at any time to reflect the latest discoveries and scholarship. If you are aware of additional autobiographies or biographies that should be considered for listing in this bibliography, please notify us. Include as much bibliographical information as you have regarding the title(s) that you recommend. Please check to be sure that the text you recommend deals with the life of someone who was actually a slave. Although most African American autobiographies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were written or dictated by slaves or former slaves, many black people who were never enslaved also published autobiographies. While their life-writing is important in its own right, these texts are not listed in the following bibliography, nor are they digitized in "North American Slave Narratives."

Consult Professor Andrews' Bibliography of Slave and Ex-Slave Narratives