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Grant number like: PY-258596-18

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Conyers Rockdale Library System (Conyers, GA 30012-5308)
Mary Jean Harrison (Project Director: May 2017 to present)

Common Heritage
Preservation and Access

$11,922 (approved)
$11,922 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019

African-American Faith and Heritage in Rockdale County

A day-long digitization event for heritage materials from African American church congregations in Conyers, Georgia.  The scanning event, held in partnership with the Rockdale County Genealogical Society, would welcome public contributions of items such as family trees, personal letters, award certificates, baptism certificates, family bible pages, and other historical objects.  The applicant aims to address an imbalance in existing community archival holdings, in which the area’s large African American population is represented mainly in slave schedules and records of a few prominent families.  Digitized materials would be shared via the Digital Library of Georgia.  The applicant also plans three public programs produced in collaboration with Georgia HomePLACE.  A “Local Voices” speaker program would provide a forum for African American community leaders to share heritage stories; experts would train the Rockdale Genealogical Society and members of the public in the use of digitization equipment; and a program would educate participants on conducting genealogical research.

African-American churches in Rockdale County have long served as vital community hubs in our increasingly diverse and growing population. The Library will expand opportunities for these congregations to document and preserve their histories. For the ‘African-American Faith and Heritage’ project, we will reach out to churches to invite community members to bring heritage materials for digital preservation. Participants at the day-long scanning event will be able to submit and share online through the Digital Library of Georgia. In conjunction with the scanning event, the Library will host a speaker program called “Local Voices” as well as programs to educate participants on conducting genealogical research. The Nancy Guinn Memorial Library will seek advice and training from the Rockdale Genealogical Society and Georgia HomePLACE. With this project, Rockdale County will have extended the documentation of its rich heritage throughout our African-American congregations.