NMAAHC and Local Historians Team Up to Preserve Tale of Maryland Freedmen's School

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tags: Reconstruction, African American history, Freedmens Schools

A month before the Civil War formally ended, a 20-year-old Black woman and prolific writer named Edmonia Highgate came from upstate New York to Harford County to launch a school for former slaves.

It became one of three Freedmen's Bureau schools in Harford County - free schools created by Congress in 1865 to "help formerly enslaved people transition from slavery to freedom and citizenship."

Now Highgate's experiences at the Harford County school will become part of the Smithsonian, thanks to the National Museum of African American History & Culture's new transcription project.

The Hosanna School Museum, in Darlington, is collaborating on the project, which will transcribe records revealing untold stories of the African-American experience during the post-Civil War and Reconstruction eras, the museum said in a press release.

More than 1.7 million records were created by the national Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands - the so-called "Freedmen's Bureau" - between 1865 and 1872, says the Hosanna School Museum. Only 2% of the 95,000 entries on the National Register of Historic Places focus on the African American experience, founder and CEO of the Virtual Reality Collaboration Lab (VRCOLAB), in a press release.

VRCOLAB worked with Hosanna School Museum to create scans of the museum for the immersive 3-D virtual reality experience for the transcribers.


Read entire article at WMAR