Professor David Richardson

Contact Details

Professor David Richardson

Phone: +44 (0)1482 465711


Professor David Richardson

Professor of Economic History

David Richardson, BA (Hons), MA, Manchester, is former Director of WISE. He is Professor of Economic History in the Department of History, University of Hull and formerly Ford Foundation Senior Visiting Scholar, W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard University (1987-8) and Post-doctoral Associate, Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Yale University (2004). He serves on the editorial board of Slavery and Abolition and on the Advisory Board of the NEH funded Electronic Slave Trade Database Project at Emory University, Atlanta.

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David Richardson's research field is African trade and the development of the North Atlantic economy 1650-1850. Within this broad field he is particularly interested in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the resulting labour flows and their impact on Britain, West Africa, the Caribbean, and North America.

Professor Richardson is a member of the Executive Committee of the Nigerian Hinterland Project, a Canadian SSHRC-funded project (chief investigator P.E. Lovejoy, York University, Toronto), funding totalling $2.5 million Canadian 1997-2002. He is a member of the editorial board of Slavery and Abolition.

He has been consultant for Merseyside Maritime Museum for an exhibition on trans-Atlantic slavery and for Bristol City Museum for a similar exhibit, and has been consulted for several TV programmes relating to the slave trade. He is currently working with the Antislavery Society writing material for the schools' project of the UNESCO Slave Route Project, the goal of which is to promote international and public understanding of the history of African slavery and its abolition through the dissemination of educational materials and the preservation of written and other records. The scholars associated with this project come from all parts of the Atlantic world.


Books and Electronic Publications

  • 1997 Routes to Slavery: Direction, Ethnicity and Mortality in the Transatlantic Slave Trade(Frank Cass, London), editor (with David Eltis), pp.150.
  • 1998:The Transatlantic Slave Trade 1527-1867: A Database Prepared at the W.E.B.Du Bois Institute, Harvard University(ed. with D.Eltis, S.D.Behrendt, and H.S.Klein) (New York: Cambridge University Press, CD-Rom).
  • 2007:The Transatlantic Slave Trade: an Enhanced and On-line Database (with David Eltis, Stephen D. Behrendt, and Manolo Florention) available at This will be periodically updated as new data become available.


  • 2005: 'Slave Prices, the African Slave Trade and Productivity in the Caribbean, 1674-1807' (with David Eltis and Frank D.Lewis), Economic History Review, 58, no.4, pp.673-700.
  • 2007: 'Agency, Ideology, and Violence in the History of Transatlantic Slavery', The Historical Journal, 50, no.4, pp1-19.
  • 2007: 'The Ending of the British Slave Trade in 1807: the Economic Context', in Stephen Farrel. Melanie Unwin and James Walvin (ed.), The British Slave Trade: Abolition, Parliament and People(Edinburgh) Supplement, pp.127-140.

Chapters in Books

  • 1998: `The British Empire and the Atlantic Slave Trade 1660-1807' in P.J.Marshall (ed.),The Oxford History of the British Empire: the Eighteenth Century, volume 2 of 5 volume series, gen.ed. R.L.Louis, (Oxford University Press), pp.440-464.


I am willing to supervise projects relating to slavery and emancipation throughout the Atlantic world 1500-1888, as well as those that relate to the impact of slavery historically on Africa, Europe, and the Americas. I will consider also supervision of projects relating to slavery beyond the Atlantic.

Key Publications


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