Howard University Joins in a Major Effort to Preserve a Significant Piece of Black History

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration has embarked on a five-year effort to preserve the records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedman and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedman's Bureau. The bureau was established by Congress on March 3, 1865, as a division of the Department of War. The bureau's responsibilities included feeding and clothing former slaves and establishing hospitals and schools for blacks.

As the restoration project gets under way, the massive volumes of paper documents are being preserved on microfilm and in digital format for display on the Internet. Howard University will soon be setting up a Web site where historians and people looking to trace their genealogy will be able to browse Freedman's Bureau records.

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