Slavery in Suriname. A Reconstruction of Life Courses, 1830–1863


  • Coen W. van Galen Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Rick J. Mourits International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam & Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Matthias Rosenbaum-Feldbrügge Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Maartje A.B. Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Jasmijn Janssen Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Björn Quanjer Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Thunnis van Oort Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Jan Kok Radboud University Nijmegen



Slavery, Suriname, Life courses, Citizen science, Record linkage


The slavenregisters or slave registers of Suriname offer a unique perspective on the social and demographic history of a people in bondage. Thanks to a citizen science project, the archival sources were transcribed in 2017 by hundreds of volunteers. The transcriptions were used to create a longitudinal database of more than 90,000 enslaved persons. This paper describes the sources, data entry, and cleaning to create a standardized database as well as the matching needed to construct life courses. We discuss the best practices we have learned along the way. Finally, it offers prospects for research and expansion of the database to other population sources and areas.


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How to Cite

van Galen, C. W., Mourits, R. J., Rosenbaum-Feldbrügge, M., A.B., M., Janssen, J., Quanjer, B., van Oort, T., & Kok, J. (2023). Slavery in Suriname. A Reconstruction of Life Courses, 1830–1863. Historical Life Course Studies, 13, 191–211.