Travel Grant Program to Support AAEHC Research

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Travel reimbursement grants are once again available to individuals who would like to use the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC) for research. Faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, independent researchers, and Episcopal clergy and laypersons are encouraged to apply. 

The AAEHC is a joint project of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and Virginia Theological Seminary. Through documents, institutional records, oral histories, personal papers, and photographs, the collection documents the experiences of African American Episcopalians. Individual collections contain significant references to religious faith and involvement in the Episcopal Church, particularly at the regional, diocesan, and local levels. 

The travel grant program is funded by the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church (HSEC). The program was developed to offset travel expenses for researchers in order to use the collection that is curated at the Seminary’s Bishop Payne Library. 

While the researchers are on campus, they share their work with the VTS community in presentations hosted by the Bishop Payne Library. These presentations contribute to the intellectual and spiritual formation of seminarians and have drawn sizable audiences. The following list details some of the topics that are among the collection’s strengths:
  • The Afro-Anglican conferences 
  • The histories of black Episcopal parishes 
  • Networking and mentorship among black clergy 
  • The history of the Union of Black Episcopalians 
  • The history of the Conference of Church Workers Among Colored People 
  • The history of the Bishop Payne Divinity School that educated African Americans for the priesthood during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries • The editing of the Lift Every Voice and Sing hymnal 
  • The work of artist Allan Rohan Crite • The Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity 
  • The contributions of various individuals to the Episcopal Church, such as The Rt. Rev. John Thomas Walker, The Rt. Rev. Walter Decoster Dennis, Ms. Verna Dozier, The Rev. Canon Harold T. Lewis, The Rev. Canon Thomas W. S. Logan, Sr., and Canon Diane Porter. 
The application deadline is January 16, 2018. Travel must occur between May 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.. The full program announcement and application may be found on the AAEHC page here. For further information or questions concerning the grant program, contact the Archivist for the AAEHC, Dr. Joseph Downing Thompson, at
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