Richmond Sesquicentennial Emancipation Time Capsule

Fredericksburg, VA, March 24, 2015 --( On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia in collaboration with the Richmond Public Library and The Center for African American Genealogical Research, Inc. (CAAGRI) have embarked on a historic venture to commemorate the collective memories of Richmond’s African American communities.

The public is invited to submit notes/letters, relics and memorabilia for the Richmond Sesquicentennial Emancipation Time Capsule beginning April 4, 2015 at the Richmond Public Library Community tent during the commemorative events located near the capitol. Items will continue to be collected at the Main Library and North Avenue Library through November 2015 for anyone who cannot attend the events on April 4th.

“Richmond has been the center of gravity in African Diasporan culture and history from slavery and emancipation to Civil Rights yet the written collective history has been silent on the viewpoints and contributions of the African American community in building our great democracy,” said Paula D. Royster, President and CEO of The Center for African American Genealogical Research, Inc. (CAAGRI).

With so many celebratory activities peaking around the 150th anniversaries of major American events: Juneteenth, the end of the Civil War and the 13th amendment, Patricia Parks, Library Community Services Manager at Richmond Public Library Headquarters thought it was appropriate that the library support the creative effort to “reflect on the past, the present and what African Americans of today would hope for the future in their own words, with their own voices, through their own eyes.”

Over the next seven months, educators, civic and youth organizations, churches, businesses and seniors will be asked to participate in various aspects of the time capsule including oral history interviews and group projects. The Richmond Sesquicentennial Emancipation Time Capsule will be deposited at the Richmond Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia at its Leigh Street Armory opening in December 2015. Dianne Wilmore, North Avenue Library Community Services Manager views “the time capsule is an opportunity for all Americans to gain a fuller perspective of the struggles and contributions of Black Americans. Black History is a story of courage and determination just waiting to be told. So let the stories begin.”

For those who want to participate but choose not to part with precious family heirlooms, 3D scanners will be available on-site. Under the direction of Dr. Bernard K. Means, of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University, a limited number of artifacts of 3-8 inches in diameter will be measured to render a three dimensional replica of the original artifact for inclusion into the capsule. Dr. Means and his students will also have on hand plastic artifacts that were 3D printed from 3D scanned files in the Virtual Curation Laboratory. Stacy L. Burrs, a member of the board of directors for the Black History Museum added “we are making every effort to include as many in our community as possible to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. The 3D technology not only allows us to discover a shared common past but it also gives the future something to measure our progressive use of technology particularly with digital historic preservation. This is just an all-around exciting time for us at the museum and the community we serve.”

For a list of items that are acceptable for collection, please contact the Richmond Public Library.
Center for African American Genealogical Research, Inc.
Cynthia Campbell