NAME: Lynette Stoudt
POSITION: Senior Archivist
INSTITUTION: Georgia Historical Society
How long have you lived in Savannah and how did you come to live there?
I have lived in Savannah for 4 years. I moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area to join my significant other who was recruited by a local company.
What is the focus of the archives/library/museum where you work?
The mission of the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is to collect, preserve, and share the history of Georgia and the United States. Among the most significant ways in which GHS fulfills this mission is by collecting, preserving, and providing access to primary and secondary sources that fit its mission; maintaining an archives building for the preservation of its collection; and by creating and maintaining a research facility for the use of its members and the general public. We collect materials that have a primary emphasis on Georgia and/or Georgians and its/their role in the history of the United States.
What is your favorite thing in your holdings?
It’s impossible to pick just one thing. We hold Juliette Gordon Low’s family papers including materials on the founding of the Girl Scouts in Savannah in 1912, Abraham Baldwin’s annotated draft of the U.S. Constitution (printed for delegates to review during the Constitutional Convention in 1787) and a drum used in several battles during the Revolutionary War.
What aspect of archival work are you most interested in, especially for the future of the profession?
I am most interested in archival description and access. Prior to GHS, I mostly worked at large university libraries with IT departments, statewide collaborative digital projects, and current technology at our disposal. One of the challenges I enjoy of working for a small, non-profit, is trying to fulfill the same online user needs with fewer resources. The future of the profession relies on archivists in all types of organizations to seriously consider and implement strategies for preserving and providing access to digital surrogates and born-digital records as best as possible while working around the technology limitations within their organization.
What is your favorite bar or restaurant in Savannah and why?
There are so many options in Savannah! Here are my top picks:
1. Molly McPherson’s (West Congress Street in City Market): They have a good beer selection, tasty pub food, and about 100 single malts on tap.
2. Moon River Brewing Company (West Bay Street): Yummy local craft brew, and for those on the go – earth-friendly to-go cups. Join them on Friday evenings at 6pm for the weekly toast and get a free mini pint.
3. Lulu’s Chocolate Bar (Martin Luther King Blvd near City Market): Awesome desserts and fancy drinks – well worth every calorie!
4. 17 Hundred 90 Lounge (East President Street): A nice bar with an old-school vibe (but not too stuffy), good wine selection, and it’s named for the year of construction – a beautiful antebellum building.
5. Other favorite restaurants: B. Mathews Eatery, Saigon, Casbah Moroccan Restaurant, Zunzi’s take out, and for dessert Leopold’s Ice Cream.
What is the one thing that you think all SGAers should do or see in Savannah?
I have three:
1. One of the fabulous house museums (including Owens-Thomas House, Davenport House, or the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, among others). The Owens-Thomas House is my favorite.
2. Fort Pulaski National Monument, active during the American Civil War, it saw the first significant use of rifled cannons in combat and was a site of the Underground Railroad. It’s located on the river with picnic areas and walking trails. Don’t miss the alligators swimming around in the moat!
3. Georgia Historical Society because we are the oldest cultural institution in the state (founded in 1839), housed in a building completed in 1876, and our reading room is beautiful.
*Image courtesy of the Georgia Historical Society.