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Knox College Digitizing "Hidden History" of Black Community

Knox College wants to "fill in the gaps" when it comes to local African American history. This month, the school in Galesburg will ask residents to bring in photographs, newspaper clippings, and other documents to be archived online. 

Sarah Ritter reports.

Knox librarian, Laurie Sauer says the college started digitizing items related to black history six years ago. But, it's been difficult because most libraries and museums only saved documents from white communities. 

It's hard to know what's missing.

So far, the library has found six issues of a black-owned newspaper from the 1930s, called The Illinois Star. And Sauer hopes to uncover more items like it, along with church and funeral programs, diaries, and other personal items. 

Knox College is one of 37 organizations in the country to receive a $10,700 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It'll allow the school to build its collection of African American history for the next 18 months. 

And once everything is collected, the school hopes to hold lectures, story days, and create a film based on the objects. 

Sauer says the first day residents can bring in items to be scanned and cataloged is February 27th, from 1 to 4 pm, at the Carver Center.