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Alexandria Black History Museum secures grant to bring city’s civil rights history online

The Alexandria Black History Museum (902 Wythe Street) has just secured a substantial new grant that will help the museum digitize much of its collections.

The museum announced yesterday that it will receive a $243,356 grant from the IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture. The grant will help fund digitization and interpretation for four of the museum’s archival collections.

Audrey Davis, director of the Alexandria Black History Museum, said in the press release that the museum will be digitizing documents, objects and other material from some of Alexandria’s most Black historic figures, such as:

The process will involve creating and updating catalog records along with scanning or photographing collection items.

One of the end-stages of the project will be an exhibition on Kendrix’s work, scheduled to open in spring 2023.

“We are excited and honored to be a 2021 recipient of the IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture,” Gretchen Bulova, Director of the Office of Historic Alexandria, said a press release. “Support from IMLS permits us share Alexandria’s vibrant African American history with new and wider audiences as well as educate future generations about Black excellence and achievement in Alexandria.”

The goal is to develop an online exhibition space that will help explore themes of civil rights and equality in the city’s history.

“By digitizing these collections,” said Davis. “We will be able to provide increased public and research access, improve collections care by reducing future handling, and ensure best practices in collections management. It will also enable the Museum to develop future learning opportunities and programming for life-long learners, families, and school-age students.”

Courtesy ACPS

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