Grant to Digitize Funerary Art

Dulany Library at William Woods University has received a $10,000 Digital Imaging Grant from the Missouri State Library to digitize photographs of funerary art from the Greenwood Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo.

The photographs will be accessible, along with a database of cemetery records and biographical information on famous African Americans interred at Greenwood Cemetery, on a new website called, “African American Life and Culture in Missouri.” The website will be hosted by William Woods University.

Gary Kremer and Brett Rogers, both members of the William Woods history faculty, conducted research on the history of Greenwood Cemetery and the African American community it served, as part of a grant received from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to the Friends of Greenwood Cemetery Association.

Kremer and Rogers documented the funerary arts represented in the cemetery and prepared an application to place the cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places. Greenwood Cemetery is especially noteworthy for being the first non-sectarian commercial cemetery for African Americans in the St. Louis metropolitan area and it reflects and records the general social development of African American life in St. Louis.

Erlene Dudley, director of Dulany Library at WWU, said, “The Greenwood Cemetery project is the first of many unique resources that will be available on the ‘African American Life and Culture In Missouri’ website.”