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Omar ibn Said Materials at Wilson Special Collections Library: Home

This guide provides a gateway into research about Omar ibn Said using special collections materials held at Wilson Library Special Collections at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Omar ibn Said: Background

Omar Ibn Said (1770-1864) (portrait), circa 1855

This guide serves as a portal into Wilson Special Collections Library material related to the life of Omar ibn Said. Omar ibn Said was born in 1770 in the Futa Toro region of present-day Senegal. He was enslaved in 1807 and brought to the United States, first to Charleston. He escaped to the Fayetteville area of North Carolina in 1810. After his recapture, he was sold to James Owen and remained enslaved by the family until his death in 1863. Omar ibn Said was Muslim and wrote a number of manuscripts in Arabic, one being his autobiography of 1831.

While this guide focuses on the unique materials related to Omar ibn Said held by Wilson Special Collections Library, in order to provide full context for understanding his life, it also includes some further information, secondary sources, and other archival collections outside of UNC-Chapel Hill.

  • Wilson Library Resources - this page lists the unique materials related to Omar ibn Said held at the Wilson Special Collections Library at UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • Other Resources - this page offers a list of materials to help further research Omar ibn Said, including secondary sources and archival materials held by other libraries.
  • Registering and Requesting Materials - this page provides details about visiting Wilson Special Collections Library at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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