The Virginia Museum of History & Culture launched Unknown No Longer (UNL) in 2011 to make accessible biographical details of enslaved Virginians from unpublished historical records in its collections.
At the beginning of 2019, the unique content of UNL was moved to be hosted on the Virginia Untold portal operated by the Library of Virginia, providing users with access to an expanded collection of resources for researching African American history in Virginia. Virginia Untold provides digital access to records at the Library of Virginia that document the lived experiences of enslaved and free Black and multiracial people. Sources such as local court records and state records contain the names of millions of enslaved and free Black men, women, and children. These records are access points to the individual experiences of Black Americans who lived in Virginia from the establishment of slavery in the 1600s until the late 1860s.
On the Virginia Untold portal, UNL records are accessible by clicking on the Search By Record Type tab at the top of the page and scrolling down to the UNL sub-collection. Researchers can still access the original documents in the VMHC's library, and we will continue to update both the UNL database and the VMHC's Guide to African American Manuscripts as new sources enter the VMHC catalog.
Unknown No Longer is sponsored in part by a generous grant from Dominion Energy, a Fortune 200 energy company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.