One of the great wonders of the digital age is the ability to read rare books and documents from your desktop. Admittedly, reading online isn’t always easy or fun, but nothing compares to ease of access or the ability to search the full text of these resources. A great case study for this brave new world lies with the study of slavery. There are now thousands of ex-slave narratives, pro- and anti-slavery pamphlets and important nineteenth-century accounts of the peculiar institution, such as Frederick Law Olmsted’s Journey in the Seabord Slave States (1856) that can be searched and researched at greater speed and with more diverse perspectives than ever before. Two of the best digital collections of slavery-related materials are from the University of North Carolina Library’s prize-winning Documenting the American South website and also a newer site called Slavery & Abolition in the US from Dickinson College and Millersville University. Both feature a wide variety of primary source texts that can be searched fruitfully for references to particular topics. For example, a persistent and creative student can look for and find references to antebellum plantation practices or customs such as childhood experiences, relationships with plantation mistresses or the practice of Christianity by slaves. They can compare how abolitionists and pro-slavery pamphleteers argued over “wage slavery” and the treatment of northern workers. Naturally, all of this and much more research has been done before the advent of the Internet, but full-text searching makes such projects much easier. Students in my Civil War class are preparing to launch their own projects on slavery. I hope they will use this blog post to demonstrate my point by commenting on some initial connections they have made between two or more sources in either the DocSouth site or the Slavery & Abolition collection. Please feel free to share quotations and links from rare books that contain insights on the institution of slavery or about the fight over its continued existence in nineteenth-century America. Also, please feel free to report on any frustrations or challenges in using either of these digital collections. They are helpful, but they are not perfect. And, of course, any other readers of the blog should feel encouraged to jump in with their own observations and reports from the front-lines of research and teaching in a digital age.