of Alderman Library's Special Collections Department
grant supports web-based "Race and Place" history projects
Taylor, a Charlottesville citizen and African-American, was
elected to Virginia's Constitutional Convention, held in Richmond
Dec. 3. Twenty-five of the 105 members were African Americans.
of the 180 newly elected General Assembly members were African
Americans. 1870 The 15th amendment to the U.S. Constitution
was ratified. It gave all citizens the right to vote and gave
Congress the power to enforce this article by appropriate
Virginia legislature passed several laws designed to restrict
African-American political participation.
Not one African-American remained in either house of the state
Charlottesville African-American women successfully registered
to vote: Mrs. Maggie P. Burley, Mamie J. Farwell and Mrs.
image, of a local African-American family, is from Alderman
Library's Rufus W. Holsinger Studio Collection Digital Image
Database, as is the above photo.
abbreviated timeline is but a sampling of information from a University
web project that is building an archive of local African-American
history. The project recently received a $100,000 grant from the
National Endowment for the Humanities to expand its offerings
and help establish similar electronic archives with historically
black colleges and universities around the state.
and Place," a history archive of the Charlottesville-Albemarle
County area during the Jim Crow era, is a joint project of the
for Digital History and the Carter
G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies.
It combines searchable databases of important primary sources,
including photographs, newspaper records and census data, with
historical exhibits on local African-American life from about
1870 to 1930 from various collections at Alderman Library.
two-year grant will enable U.Va. to continue to add census and
court records and other important historical resources to the
archive. With the local model and technological tools being developed
as part of it, U.Va. will also help historically black colleges
and universities around the state build similar community projects,
said Reginald D. Butler, director of the Woodson Institute, and
William G. Thomas, director of the Center for Digital History.
U.Va. is already collaborating with researchers at Norfolk State
University in developing a Tidewater African-American history
the Charlottesville project, users can now search the site's databases
of African-American businesses and households, as recorded in
U.S. Census returns and Charlottesville city directories of the
early 20th century. They can read local club and school announcements
as well as commentary on national events in an African-American-owned
and -operated newspaper, The Reflector. They can also explore
the political correspondence of African-Americans who struggled
to retain their voting rights in the face of statewide disenfranchisement
The material is intended to be of use for African-American history
learning and research at all levels from the K-12 classroom to
universities and the general public, Thomas said. The Jim Crow
era is especially important with K-12 history projects, because
it's a period that's often overlooked, he said.
The "Race and Place" site grew out of student research
into Alderman Library's digital image database of the Rufus W.
Holsinger Studio Collection, which includes more than 550 photographs
of African-Americans taken between 1908 and 1927. Students enrolled
in the Woodson Institute's Emerging Scholars Program and related
African-American Studies courses have been researching the Holsinger
collection for the past two years, Butler said.
at U.Va. and other institutions, the projects offer African-American
and other students opportunities to work on significant research
and to prepare themselves for careers in technology and the humanities,
Virginia Center for Digital History was founded by U.Va. in 1998.
Its mission is to develop high-quality, well-researched, and reliable
history materials for the World Wide Web and deliver them to schools,
colleges, libraries, historical societies, and the general public.
Woodson Institute coordinates African and African-American studies
at the graduate and undergraduate level, as well as interdepartmental
seminars, and offers residential research fellowships for predoctoral
and postdoctoral work in these areas.