This project exemplifies how examining a small set of individuals buried at Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery - in this case, the ten known African American WWI veterans buried there - can help illuminate important historical events and their connections to Atlanta. This project is a collaboration between the staff of the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) and both Emory University faculty member Pellom McDaniels as well as independent scholar D.L. Henderson.
Our hope is that the methods involved in this prototype can be utilized in future digital scholarship projects about Oakland and and on projects focused on other historic cemeteries. The hybrid approach used—a cemetery basemap with biographical details complemented with pages of short-form contextual information—can be replicated and scaled up with relative ease. This prototype was built on the Omeka platform with the Neatline plugin for the map integration. Subsequent Oakland projects can be built on this same Omeka instance, and the underlying database will continue to grow as more biographical entries, media, and metadata are added to it.
Unless otherwise noted, all materials on this site are licensed CC-BY-NC-ND.
Dr. D.L. Henderson is a cemetery historian, genealogist, and preservationist whose research and writing focuses on the intersection of history, memory, and culture in African American life. She is a member of the Historic Oakland Foundation Board of Directors and the Historic South-View Foundation Board of Advisors. She has been awarded the Atlanta Urban Design Commission's Jenny D. Thurston Memorial Award to an Outstanding Preservation Professional, and she has been recognized by the Atlanta City Council for her contribution to the preservation and interpretation of African American history and culture. She is the author of South-View: An African American City of the Dead (2018).
Dr. Pellom McDaniels III is the curator of African American collections in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. He is the author of The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy (2013) and editor of Porter, Steward, Citizen: An African Americans Memoir of World War I. Dr. McDaniels has contributed essays to anthologies such as Before Jackie Robinson: The Transcendent Role of Black Sports Pioneers (2017), The Olympics and Philosophy (2012), and All Stars and Movie Stars: Sports in Film History (2010). His first screenplay, titled The Prince of Jockeys, has been optioned and is currently in pre-production. From 1991-2000, Dr. McDaniels played professional football in the National Football League and the World League of American Football.
Dr. Steve Bransford served as the Project Coordinator for this project.
Joanna Mundy, Digital Projects Specialist at the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, built this website in Omeka 2.5.1, using an adapted BigPicture theme, and the Neatline plugin, using a Neatline theme available on Github., which she adapated from D. McClure's Neatlight theme.