Free at Last: A History of the Abolition of Slavery in America

Free at Last: A History of the Abolition of Slavery in America

“Free at Last: A History of the Abolition of Slavery in America” is an exhibit in the Art Gallery from March 2-30, hosted by the IU East Student Social Work Association ( When members of the SSWA asked us about resources related to this traveling exhibit, we were eager to provide supplemental content to extend the learning experience. This libguide features books, databases and other sources of interesting and reliable information.


The “Free at Last” exhibit presents letters, documents, cartoons, photographs and broadsides from the The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Prior to this traveling exhibit, these important documents were unavailable to the public nationally. Among the highlights are an early fragment of the “House Divided” speech written by Abraham Lincoln, and letters written by leading abolitionists, slaves, and soldiers who fought in the Civil War.  The exhibit traces the history of the movement to abolish slavery from the framing of the Constitution to its abolition during the Civil War.   

 After viewing the exhibit, you might want to take a look in American Civil War: Letters and Diaries or Black Thought & Culture and find letters and diaries from African-American soldiers, nurses, slaves and others.  Or browse the Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive database to help you gain understanding of slavery and the abolitionist movement. For books, check IU CAT using subject headings such as these:

 United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865

Southern States–Race relations

Slavery–United States

Slave trade

Slavery–United States–History

Slaves–Emancipation–United States

Women slaves–America–Social conditions

Antislavery movement–United States

Abolitionists–United States–Biography

For additional information, visit the Library in Hayes Hall or email  We are here to help; Ask Us!

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