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Grant number: PY-253047-17

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PY-253047-17

Athens Regional Library System (Athens, GA 30606-6331)
Angela Stanley (Project Director: 05/12/2016 to 01/03/2017)
Rikki Chesley (Project Director: 01/03/2017 to present)

African American History in Athens, Georgia

Three day-long digitization events to document and preserve historical sources relating to the African American experience in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. The digitization events would each be held at different venues, including the East Athens Resource Center, the historic First A.M.E. Church, and the Athens-Clarke County Library, and the materials would be accessible online. With this project, the applicant aims to address the paucity of historical materials chronicling the lives of black Athenians in the region’s cultural institutions. The events would not only build out the collections that tell the stories of local residents, but also facilitate the community stewardship of the materials that document these stories, including photographs, scrapbooks, funeral pamphlets, church bulletins, and other objects, mementos, and artifacts. In order to provide deeper understanding of the experiences of African Americans in the region, public programs would also take place. Author Michael Thurmond would discuss his book A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History, and tours would be offered of the African American section of the Oconee Hill Cemetery, the First A.M.E. Church, and the Morton Theater in downtown Athens. Also planned are a course on researching ancestry taught by the President of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and presentations on how to preserve, access, and use digitized items.

Spared Sherman's wrath but not the havoc of Great Cities, Athens' Black residents and their historic neighborhoods have fought for their existence.  With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the applicant wishes to aid in the digitization of privately held historical sources relating to the African American experience in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, at a series of three day-long digitization day events. These scan days will take place at the East Athens Resource Center; the historic First A.M.E. Church; and the Athens-Clarke County Library, where patrons will be able to convert special A/V formats using our conversion equipment.  Digitized material would be made available to the public with donor permission via our partnership with the Digital Library of Georgia and the Digital Public Library of America. The project would also include a public lecture series and tours of Black historic sites led by partner groups.

Project fields:
African American History; African American Studies

Program:
Common Heritage

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$11,962 (approved)
$11,962 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2017 – 12/31/2017