Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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Collection of Durham Funeral Programs Now Online

The first page of the funeral program for Mrs. Ethel Mae Clegg

The first page of the funeral program for John William Bailey

Hundreds of funeral programs and obituaries from the R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection, physically housed at the Durham County Library North Carolina Collection, are now up on DigitalNC. R. Kelly Bryant (1917-2015) was a historian with an extensive knowledge of Durham, North Carolina. In addition to being an active community leader with involvement in many organizations, he also collected the stories of thousands of African American residents told through funeral programs and obituaries.

This collection consists of digitized photocopies of the obituaries and funeral service programs that R. Kelly Bryant assembled over the course of his 70-odd years as a Durham resident. They are grouped together alphabetically according to surname of the deceased. The surnames “Adams,” through “Coachman” are now available, but we will continue to add more names to the digitized collection.

These materials are text searchable, and often contain genealogical information on their subjects including birth and death dates, maiden names, names of relatives, past residences, and places of burial. They cover funerals held from 1934-2013, and provide rich documentation of the African American community in Durham during this time. To learn more about Mr. Bryant and view his archival collection at Durham County Library, visit the finding aid. To see all of the digitally available programs, visit the  R. Kelly Bryant Obituary Collection exhibit page.

Also please take a look at other materials from the Durham County Library that are up on DigitalNC by visiting their partner page.

A page of photographs from the funeral program of Edward Beckford “Pe Wee” Boyd

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