Posted: Oct 29, 2012 11:03 AM
Source: Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS - A pair of workers at the Louisiana State Museum is digitizing thousands of 18th-century legal papers that give an unprecedented view of American history.
The documents were largely written by French and Spanish notaries and court clerks. They contain some of the first historical accounts of slaves and free blacks in North America.
Historians say the records are at the heart of a wave of research tracing American roots beyond the English colonies and into Spain, France and Africa.
There is one full-time and one part-time staffer working on the project in New Orleans, though the museum hopes to add more staff. At the current pace, it will take 10 years.