As a follow-up to last week’s post about the early 19th-century associations of Afro-Argentines in Buenos Aires, I want to mention a digitizing project of the national archives: La Ruta del Esclavo.

The project was funded by UNESCO, which provides an introductory overview of slavery in Argentina.

The La Ruta del Esclavo site supposedly provides access to more than 500 digitized documents. Unfortunately, the interface is not very well designed and it’s very difficult to find the digitized images.

To their credit, however, the archives has provided a very detailed listing online as to which documents are in the collection. Providing this degree of metadata is very important to researchers. And, in truth, the descriptive information about a collection is more costly and difficult to develop than the actual digitizing of archival material.

Anyway, it’s a good effort and I suspect, like most libraries and archives, that the Archivo General de la Nación de la República Argentina does not have the resources for digital projects. As a librarian with extensive technological experience I really should get more involved in supporting digital libraries in Argentina.