Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Libraries and museums help create vibrant, energized learning communities. Our achievement as individuals and our success as a democratic society depend on learning continually, adapting to change readily, and evaluating information critically.
As stewards of cultural heritage, information and ideas, museums and libraries have traditionally played a vital role in helping us experience, explore, discover and make sense of the world. That role is now more essential than ever. Through building technological infrastructure and strengthening community relationships, libraries and museums can offer the public unprecedented access and expertise in transforming information overload into knowledge.
The Mission of the IMLS:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.
In 2009, the IMLS awarded the Historic Hillsborough Commission with a second Museums for America grant. The project funded, The People of the Burwell School Digital Archive and Research Project, allowed us to take the numerous and valuable archival resources we have collected over the years and during the last Museums for America award (2005-2007) and create an online research site, making those resources available to the public and accessible to the world.
Through this project, we not only utilized the research we had already conducted, but also had the opportunity to conduct two years of additional research on the over 200 young women who attended classes at the Burwell School. Furthermore, this funding has allowed us to research other people who have called the site home through its history - Elizabeth Keckly, numerous enslaved members of the household, the Collins family, and more recent residents.
In 2011, we launched this research page on our website which is available, free of charge, as a genealogical and historic resource for researchers, genealogists, historians, and individuals who simply want to learn about their families and their ties to the Burwell School Historic Site. Additionally, this project is ongoing. We hope that our users will share any relevant research with us as we continue provide this ever growing resource to the world. To learn how to contribute to the project, please please visit our feedback page
Many people contributed to make this project a success. A special thank you to Ai-Ling Chang, Patrick Collum, Maggie Dickson, Ernest Dollar, Kevin Gilbertson, Noah Huffman, Linda Jacobson, Erik Mitchell, Carrie Mowatt-Larssen, and Matt Turi.