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The United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was created by Congress in 1865 to assist in the political and social reconstruction of post-war Southern states and to help formerly enslaved people make the transition from slavery to freedom and citizenship. In the process, the Bureau created millions of records that contain the names of hundreds of thousands of formerly enslaved individuals and Southern white refugees. In an effort to enhance the accessibility of these important materials, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Archives and Records Administration (where the original records of the Freedmen's Bureau are held), FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian's Transcription Center, have teamed up to transcribe more than 1.5 million pages from the Freedmen's Bureau records (the largest crowdsourcing project ever undertaken by the Smithsonian). Completed transcriptions will allow genealogists, historians, and researchers around the world more easily search for and locate information recorded on Freedmen's Bureau pages related to African American history and the post-Civil War era. Join in by transcribing and reviewing ongoing projects below, and click here to learn more about the Freedmen's Bureau and this important collaborative project.

4% Complete

285 Total pages
10 Contributing members
Field Offices, Office of the Adjutant General, Louisville, KY, Letters Received, Entered in Volume 1 (71), Jan.–Dec. 1874, Part 1

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Field Offices of the Freedmen's Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1872–1878, Series 1.4:Louisville, KY (Disbursing Officer).

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

1% Complete

284 Total pages
7 Contributing members
Field Offices, Office of the Adjutant General, Louisville, KY, Letters Received, Entered in Volume 1 (71), Jan.–Dec. 1874, Part 2

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Field Offices of the Freedmen's Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1872–1878, Series 1.4:Louisville, KY (Disbursing Officer).

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

51% Complete

181 Total pages
106 Contributing members
Field Offices, Office of the Adjutant General, Louisville, KY, Letters Sent, Volume 1 (73), Oct. 1872–Mar. 1874

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Field Offices of the Freedmen's Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1872–1878, Series 1.4:Louisville, KY (Disbursing Officer).

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

0% Complete

46 Total pages
1 Contributing members
Mississippi Field Offices, Subordinate Field Offices: Meridian (Subcomm.), Miscellaneous Reports, 1866–68

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Field Offices for the State of Mississippi, Series 3.32: Subordinate Field Offices: Meridian (Subcommissioner).

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

91% Complete

297 Total pages
115 Contributing members
Virginia Assistant Commissioner, Records Relating to Bureau Functions, Monthly Ration Reports, Aug. 1865–Aug. 1867, Part 2

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Virginia, Series 7: Records Relating to Specific Bureau Functions.

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau