Happy Black History Month! This year the Rediscovering Black History blog at the National Archives would like to highlight select posts from the past. This public blog was created to inform researchers, scholars, students, and anyone interested in records related to African-American history at the National Archives and Presidential Libraries on the vast amount of textual, electronic, photographs, and special media available for use. For the past four years, NARA employees, student interns, and independent researchers have written informative and insightful blogs on the black experience through the use of our holdings. The highlighted blog posts for the month of February will center around popular themes. Today’s theme is the Panama Canal.
Blogs about the Panama Canal have been some of our most popular. These records are primarily used for genealogy and labor history, since they contain a great deal of personal information on West Indian workers. The type of information found includes birth, death, and marriage records, pay scale, and employment type. The records on the Panama Canal have also received additional attention due the 100th anniversary of the completion of the canal in 1914.
- “How to use Panama Canal Personnel Records at the National Archives: My Grandfather worked on the Panama Canal” by Patrice Brown
- “Panama Canal Employees: Service Record Cards (Part 1)” by Patrice Brown
- “Panama Canal Employees: Service Record Cards (Part 2)” by Patrice Brown
- “A Callin’ from Colón: Photographs of Black Employees Working on the Panama Canal” by Barbara Lewis Burger
- “In Celebration of 100 Years of the Panama Canal: West Indian Canal Employee Records” by Patrice Brown
- “Accidents, Injuries and Deaths in the Canal Zone, 1884–1999” by Patrice Brown
- “All We Demand is Justice: Caribbean Union Leaders on the Canal Zone” by Sonia A. Prescott