UR partners with VCU and Friends of East End to unveil new mapping projects in support of reclamation efforts at East End Cemetery

April 20, 2018

The University of Richmond Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, in partnership with VCU Division of Community Engagement and Friends of East End, will share research and unveil a new digital map that is the culmination of a year-long project supporting the reclamation efforts at East End Cemetery, a historic African-American burial ground in the City of Richmond and Henrico County.

In partnership with the CCE, UR classics professor Elizabeth Baughan and biology professor Kristine Grayson launched the East End Cemetery Collaboratory in September 2017.

“Our work has included studies of demography, ecology, gravestone symbolism, medical sociology and personal histories,” Baughan said. “We aim to produce place-based knowledge that contributes to a community dialogue about our collective past.”  

One result of the Collaboratory is a website, built by UR’s Digital Scholarship Lab and the Spatial Analysis Lab, which shows a map of the cemetery and uncovered headstones. This website will serve as a public resource for locating graves and a portal to explore the history of individuals buried at this site.

Five UR and two VCU faculty connected their courses to East End Cemetery this academic year as part of the Collaboratory project.

“Even the beginning levels of collaboration on this project across institutions and communities has been inspirational,” Grayson said.

The CCE will work with faculty to continue the East End Cemetery Collaboratory next year.

The Collaboratory and Friends of East End will host a community gathering April 27 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Theater located at 2903 Q Street. The event is free and open to the public.

Image courtesy of Brian Palmer

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