Grant Will Help U.Va. Work With Historically Black Colleges To Develop
African-American History Projects On The Web
Oct. 27, 1999 -- A University of Virginia
Web project that is building an archive of local African-American
history has received a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment
for the Humanities to expand the project and help establish similar
electronic archives with historically black colleges and universities
around the state.
U.Va. project, "Race and Place," a history archive of the Charlottesville-Albemarle
County area during the Jim Crow era, is a joint project of the Universitys
Center 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.
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 digital archive.
U.Va. "Race and Place" Web site invites users to explore an extensive
collection of archival materials from the age of segregation, including
photographs, newspaper articles, letters, and broadsides drawn from
various collections at U.Va.'s Alderman Library. With tools, databases
and electronic forms being developed and tested, scholars elsewhere
will have a framework for building their own projects.
the Charlottesville project Web 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
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.
Jim Crow era is especially important with K-12 history projects
because its a period thats often overlooked, he said.
Many schools concentrate on earlier or later African-American history.
"Race and Place" Web site grew out of student research into Alderman
Library's Rufus W. Holsinger Studio Collection Digital Image Database,
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 the University
of Virginia 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 African and African-American Studies.
and Place: An African-American Community in the Jim Crow South"
is on the World Wide Web at http://www.vcdh.virginia.edu/afam/index.html
interviews or additional information please contact: Reginald D.
Butler, (804) 924-3109, or firstname.lastname@example.org;
William G. Thomas, (804) 924-7834, or email@example.com;
Scot French, (804) 924-3109, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Johnson, (804) 924-7116; Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856