Richard Blackett Papers

Identifier: MSS.0663

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

Series I: Research Files contains notated articles, files related to towns in the United Kingdom and Ireland, research in various archival collections and newspapers, and various other research related to Professor Blackett's work. Series II: Administrative Files contains files related to Professor Blackett's correspondence and work related to grants, classes, seminars, reviews, and recommendations.


  • 1980 - 2020

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this collection requires advance notice. Please contact for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be viewed only in the Special Collections reading room. Materials should be requested 2-3 days prior to visiting to facilitate easier access. Contact to schedule an appointment.

Biographical / Historical

Richard Blackett became the Andrew Jackson Professor of History at Vanderbilt University in 2002. His work focuses on the United States abolitionist movement, the movement’s transatlantic connections, and the roles African Americans played in abolition. Blackett has also taught at the University of Pittsburgh (1971-85), Indiana University (1985-1996), University of Houston (1996-2002), and Oxford University (2013-2014). He received his BA in International Relations from the University of Keele, England, in 1969, and he received his MA from the University of Manchester, England, in 1973.

Blackett is the author of Building an Antislavery Wall: Black Americans in the Atlantic Abolitionist Movement, 1830-1860 (Louisiana State University Press, 1983); Beating Against the Barriers: Biographical Essays in Nineteenth-Century Afro-American History (Louisiana State University Press, 1986); Thomas Morris Chester: Black Civil War Correspondent (Louisiana State University Press, Da Capo Press, 1989); Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War (Louisiana State University Press, 2001); Making Freedom: The Underground Railroad and the Politics of Slavery (University of North Carolina Press, 2013); editor, Running A Thousand Miles for Freedom: The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery (Louisiana State University Press, 1999); The Captive's Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery (Cambridge University Press, 2018); and Samuel Ringgold Ward: A Life of Struggle (Yale University Press, 2023).

Blackett has also edited for the Journal of American History (Associate Editor, 1985-1990; Acting Editor, 1989-1990) and the Indiana Magazine of History (1993-1996).


14.42 Linear Feet (14 Paige boxes, 1 Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



The Richard Blackett Papers, c. 1980-2020, consist of the research and administrative files of historian Richard Blackett (b. 1947).


The Richard Blackett Papers contain two series: I. Research Files and II. Administrative Files.

Physical Location

Offsite Storage, Special Collections & Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift: 2010, 2019

Finding Aid for the Richard Blackett Papers
In Progress
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

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