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More than 100 years of African American funeral programs now online

AJC file photo
AJC file photo

The Digital Library of Georgia recently added more than 3,000 African American funeral home programs from Atlanta and throughout the Southeast to its vast collection of online sources.

The programs span from 1886 to 2019 and can be great sources of information for genealogists. The materials that were digitized were contributed by the Auburn Avenue Research Library of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, the Wesley Chapel Genealogy Group and the Metro-Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Funding came from Georgia HomePlace, a program of the Georgia Public Library Service.

Programs also have been digitized by other Georgia institutions, so do a Google search for the topic. And anyone who knows of other funeral programs, and certainly caches of them, should notify the society so that it can offer advice on how to have them digitized or donated to a local archives collection. The programs collection can be accessed at dlg.usg.edu and search for “funeral programs” and you will see “Atlanta Funeral Programs Collection,” as well as separate files for Richmond and Thomas Counties. Funeral programs related to Sapelo Island are at the Georgia Archives in the Mae Ruth Green Collection, accessible in person only, when the Georgia Archives reopens.

DPAA identifies missing U. S. military remains

A recent PBS program highlighted the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Its website — dpaa.mil — features many of its various activities. The television program discussed the latest locations where the remains of WWII soldiers were found and attempts to identify the men via artifacts found with the remains and eventually via DNA. The website lists those still considered missing for each war and each state starting with World War II. The site includes news stories about discoveries and matches, as well as information about the agency’s procedures.

Jewish holy sites digital re-creation

Dara Horn has written “Return to the Sacred” in the June issue of Smithsonian Magazine. It’s a fascinating article about the digital re-creation underway from old photographs and people’s memories of lost Jewish synagogues, temples and other holy sites. “Diarna” is a project of Digital Heritage Mapping. Many places covered are in ruins, threatened by wars, or totally lost. See diarna.org and explore its various segments.

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P. O. Box 901, Decatur, GA 30031 or kenthomasongenealogy.com.