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Library receives grant to create digital repository of Atlantic City's African American history – DOWNBEACH – Downbeach.com

Atlantic City Free Public Library/Atlantic City Heritage Collections/Sarah Spencer Washington founded the Apex News and Hair Company and became one of the nation’s first Black female millionaires.
The Atlantic City Free Public Library’s extensive archival collections related to African American history will soon become easier for the public to explore and utilize. The library received a grant of $128,826 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to implement “The City of Dreams: the Atlantic City Experience” project.
The project will be the first stage in creating “The Atlantic City Experience Research Library Digital Repository” to provide a new level of online access to the library’s extensive Atlantic City Heritage Collections. The online repository will make available those collections by digitizing, cataloging and placing text, audio and video content on an internet platform for unlimited access.
“Digitizing the many collections concerning African American history in Atlantic City will allow city, the state, the country and the world to see how much African Americans contributed to the growth of the history of the city,” library Archivist Jackie Silver-Morillo said.
The initial project will focus on digitization of the African American history collections. The Atlantic City Heritage Collections offer a wide variety of materials documenting African American history from the city’s inception in 1854 to present day. The collections feature dissertations, oral histories and biographies which capture the voices of African Americans who grew up, lived, and worked here.
Parade float participants for Walls Bath House pose with members of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol in 1922.
To preserve and digitize these resources, the library will contract with Preservica.com to create an online digital repository. The Atlantic City Experience and Atlantic City Free Public Library websites will be linked to the new repository, allowing persons seeking greater detail about the city’s history to access information 24/7 on the internet. This will greatly improve research services to our historical collections for residents, students, teachers, authors, archivists and researchers throughout the world.
Those interested in tracking the progress of the City of Dreams project can visit the library’s website, www.acfpl.org, as well as the library’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts or contact Jacqueline Silver-Morillo at 609-345-2269, ext. 3064, for more information.
The project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.
Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.
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