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Monday, January 12, 2015

Interesting Rural Digitization Project included in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

A blog post entitled, Rural Digitization Project Sheds Rich Light on African-American Lives by Paul Nauta highlights a cooperative digitization project between FamilySearch and the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Virginia, ((MPAAGHS). The collection appears in the Historical Record Collections as:

Virginia, African-American Funeral Programs, 1935-2009

The project is described as follows:
In rural communities of eastern Virginia, the obscure stories of thousands of deceased African Americans are finding their way to the Internet. The Virginia African-American Funeral Programs project began five years ago as a collaborative initiative between FamilySearch and the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Virginia (MPAAGHS). Over 10,000 funeral programs were digitized, and over 200,000 names of the deceased persons and their families and friends mentioned in the programs were linked by volunteers and published in a free searchable database at
 The FamilySearch Research Wiki article on the collection describes it as follows:
The collection consists of images of programs from the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond. These programs are arranged alphabetically by the names of persons collecting and donating the programs and not alphabetically by the names of those in the programs. Obituaries may be included. The collection covers the years 1935 to 2009.
You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Virginia, African-American Funeral Programs, 1935-2009,
This is the type of extremely valuable localized records that need to be added to online collections. Adding this particular type of record to the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections is a major step towards adding heretofore generally unavailable records.  

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