The Common Heritage Project

The Project

Awarded with a $12,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in partnership with the Common Heritage Program, the Ina Dillard Russell Library took on an initiative to document and preserve the overlooked history of Milledgeville’s African American community. The project aimed to encourage citizens to preserve their history by digitizing historical documents such as papers and pictures.

The Russell Library conducted a community workshop on preserving family records, with Shanee’ Murrain, MLS, M.Div., Digital Developer and Community Builder at the Digital Public Library of America, providing instruction on best practices for care of photographs, newsletters, scrapbooks, programs, videos, and textiles and discussed the considerations for administering community archives, such as those found in churches. Additionally, two History Harvest days were conducted by Russell Library, collecting materials from the community at the Harrisburg Community Center, as well as El Bethel Baptist Church in Milledgeville. Participants received a flash drive containing digital preservation files of their historic documents. Once the materials were digitized, community members were given the option to share their digitized materials by adding them to collections like Special Collections at Georgia College, as well as larger archives, such as the Digital Library of Georgia and the Digital Public Library of America.

Painting on silk of Katie Marie (Morgan) Woolfork, of Milledgeville, Georgia. While serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Roosevelt Woolfork, Jr. commissioned a South Korean artist to create the work from a photograph of his wife. Courtesy of Sandra Woolfork Jones, Common Heritage Preservation Workshop, Milledgeville, GA, March 2, 2019.