In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration began interviewing former slaves for their side of history, a project that would become one of the largest oral research projects on slavery. Forty years later, George P. Rawick compiled the thousands of interviews into the multi-volume series The American Slave. Published by Greenwood Press in the 1970s, the slave narratives have provided a valuable resource for historians and researchers, but they lacked a comprehensive name index. This volume indexes the slaves according to where they lived (as opposed to where they were interviewed), enabling researchers to locate slaves by state, county, or region, as well as by their master's name, their age, and the interviewer.
The ease of access provided by this index will aid researchers who wish to consider the slave experience in specific states or regions. It will help scholars trace migratory patterns from one region to another and enable genealogical researchers to locate specific individuals.