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Grant number: HD-50979-10

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Sweet Briar College (Sweet Briar, VA 24595-5001)
Lynn Rainville (Project Director, 10/08/2009 - present)
[View white paper]
African-American Families Database: Community Formation in Albemarle County, Virginia, 1850-1880

A pilot study for a collaborative online African-American Families Database recording and displaying genealogical and geographical data tracking generations of 19th-century descendants of individuals on two antebellum slave lists.

The African-American Families Database project involves a unique partnership between local historians, anthropologists, database designers, and community residents to develop an on-line database for connecting African-American families to their antebellum roots and tracing patterns of community formation in the post-bellum period. Working with historians and researchers we will develop a research methodology for entering information from standard archival records -- such as wills, census tallies, personal property taxes, and birth, marriage, and death certificates. Once entered into Excel spreadsheets we will export the data to a relational database, such as MySQL, and develop algorithms for searching for individual people. In this pilot study, we will test the associations between generations of families by tracking the 19th-century descendants of several dozen enslaved individuals listed on two antebellum "slave lists."

Project fields: U.S. History
Program: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Division: Digital Humanities
Total amounts: $24,963 (approved); $24,963 (awarded)
Grant period: 4/1/2010 – 3/31/2012

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