Welcome to the Cemetery Collaboratory Archive, a searchable repository of records and research related to historic African American burial grounds in Henrico County and the city of Richmond, Virginia.
About the Archive
The archive serves as a knowledge hub for descendants, students, scholars, and members of the public who are conducting genealogical and historical research, as well as people with more general interests—late 19th- and 20th-century Richmond and Virginia history, African American narratives, Jim Crow, and other topics.
Created by the Cemetery Collaboratory, the archive brings together a wide range of primary sources—portraits, death certificates, marriage records, draft registration cards, obituaries, newspaper articles, and more—and data drawn from the cemeteries themselves, such as GPS coordinates, gravestone photographs, and written descriptions of markers and plots. Records are linked to the Collaboratory’s various maps of cemeteries and memorial records on Find A Grave. Users can search or browse records for all the cemeteries so far included or select a specific cemetery to search.
Some of the information in this archive is publicly accessible through other platforms such as Ancestry.com, but here documents are fully transcribed and, therefore, easily searchable. Users can search by church affiliation, fraternal organization, occupation, and employer, for example, as well as by name and date. The archive will grow and improve in accuracy as new grave markers are uncovered and more documents are added and transcribed.
The back end of the archive is housed in JSTOR Forum. Items, data, and transcriptions are contributed by faculty, community members, and students in the Collaboratory. An initial portal for the East End Cemetery Archive was developed by Performant Software with funding from a Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship grant from the Office of the Provost at the University of Richmond. The broader portal for the Cemetery Collaboratory Archive accessed on this current page has been modeled on that portal and contains all the same information for East End Cemetery plus a growing collection of records for Evergreen, Woodland, Barton Heights, and other cemeteries in the area. It was developed with funding from the VCU Division of Communty Engagement.
For documents and photographs that are not in the public domain, the archive has received permission from their owners to post them here. These materials are owned by those who have granted the archive permission to use them. They are therefore subject to all applicable copyright laws. We ask archive visitors not to grab or copy these images without obtaining written permission from the source, identified in the photo credit.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use the Archive?
There are several ways to interact with the Archive. You can perform a keyword search, sort by last name, year of birth and year of death, and filter by decades, locations, employers, fraternal & beneficial organizations, church affiliations, military service, and funeral home. If you would like to share your results you can by clicking the “Share Your Search” button next to the search box. This will copy a URL to your search results to the clipboard. You can then share it within an email, a tweet, or a post on other social media platforms. Below are links to a few search results to give you an idea of the kinds of materials we are presenting from the archive.
To view the various items the Archive might hold related to an individual, click on their “card”. If there are documents such as death certificates, birth certificates, newspaper articles, advertisements, photographs, etc. they will be listed on this page with metadata and transcriptions. Not every entry is complete, and data will continue to be improved each semester.
Is the Archive finished and how do I submit corrections?
The archive will continue to grow and be improved. The Collaboratory welcomes suggestions, corrections, and additions to the Archive data. Please use the form here to contact us.