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The African American story is central to our nation’s history. Collections documenting the contributions of African Americans in countless fields, along with the struggles and achievements inherent to their stories, can be found in the records of every Smithsonian museum. Help us make these collections more accessible through transcription. Browse projects below and learn more by searching our blog, and by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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Virginia Education, Registers of Letters Received and Endorsements Sent, Vol. 1 (48), Apr. 22–Oct. 16, 1869

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Superintendent of Education for Virginia, Series 2: Registers of Letters Received and Endorsements Sent. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Virginia during the Reconstruction Era.