The Archdiocese of New Orleans says it will unveil Tuesday a new online database containing records of baptisms, marriages and deaths in colonial New Orleans — including those of African slaves, who until now have been nearly invisible to genealogical research.

Although the church released few details on the database, which is scheduled to go live Tuesday, the church’s brief description outlines a powerful new tool for scholars and ordinary genealogists, particularly for those searching for slave ancestors, a New Orleans historian said.

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