Dr. David Eltis Named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Congratulations to Dr. David Eltis, who was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A brief profile of Dr. Eltis’ storied career was published by the Emory News Center and is reproduced below:

David Eltis, professor of history emeritus, joined the Emory faculty in 2002 and served as the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History for the next decade. His research focuses on the early modern Atlantic world, slavery and migration, and he is considered one of the foremost authorities on these issues. Eltis is co-editor of the Transatlantic Slave Trade database (www.slavevoyages.org), a groundbreaking free and interactive Web-based resource that documents the slave trade from Africa between the 16th and 19th centuries.

Growing out of the Voyages database research, Eltis served as principal investigator of a three-year National Endowment for the Humanities collaborative project on the origins of Africans pulled into the transatlantic slave trade. The African Origins Project draws on the records of 92,000 names (taken down pre-orthographically) and descriptions of Africans liberated from slave vessels in the first half of the 19th century. The information was extracted from the registers of international courts created to adjudicate vessels detained as they engaged in the transatlantic slave trade.

Eltis is the author of “Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” (1987), which won the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize, and “The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas” (2000), awarded the Frederick Douglass Prize, the John Ben Snow Prize and the Wesley-Logan Prize. His “Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” (2010), co-authored with David Richardson, won four prizes including the American Publishers Award for the most outstanding scholarly work in all disciplines of the arts and sciences. He has edited and co-edited numerous scholarly collections and published over 80 research essays, including five in the American Historical Review.

A research associate since 1993 at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute, Eltis is completing work on creating sustainability for the Voyages website.