The following project information is limited solely to the direct digital scholarship portion of the research.

Project Title: Deuteronomy & Slave Narratives

Description: Identify citations to the Book of Deuteronomy within slave narrative transcriptions provided by the University of North Carolina’s ‘North American Slave Narratives.

Researchers Involved:


  1. The most popular Bible verses from Deuteronomy was identified as containing the phrases that would be cited in the narratives.
  2. The Python library Beautiful Soup was used to clean the webpage into this text file.
  3. The Python library Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) was used to chunk the narrative texts into n-grams and the difflib.SequenceMatcher provided a similarity score between 0.0 and 1.0 between the narrative n-grams and the Deuteronomic phrases. The highest matching score from each narrative to each phrase, with a minimum score of 0.55, was written to this text file. False hits were manually removed but only the initial results are produced here.
  4. The NodeXL application (Microsoft Excel extension for networks) was used to create a visual network between phrases and narratives.
  5. The Tableau Desktop application (data visualization software) was used to publish this network to the web. Click the screenshot below to launch the interactive visualization.
Deuteronomy & Slave Narratives

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