Maps, Surveys, And Plans, Oh My!

The City of Savannah Municipal Archives preserves over 4,000 historical maps, surveys, and plats from the City Surveyor’s and City Engineer’s offices, dating back to the 1790s.  These collections document Savannah’s unique town plan, progress and growth through the 19th and 20th centuries, and development of distinct neighborhoods and subdivisions.  Additionally, the Archives’ collections include architectural plans and drawings for facilities built by the City, including prominent landmarks such as City Hall, Police and Fire stations, the old Municipal Auditorium, and Grayson Stadium. 
Join Municipal Archives staff for a special session to learn about these collections, how you can access them both in person and through the internet, and participate in a special hands-on show-and-tell highlighting the wide range of engineering and survey materials available.  We’ll also share a few special stories of murder and mystery involving former City Surveyors and Engineers from our past that are sure to capture your interest!
The event will include a tour of Savannah’s historic City Hall and a behind-the-scenes look at our collection storage and reference spaces.
Where: City of Savannah Municipal Archives, Savannah City Hall, 2 E. Bay Street, Savannah GA, 31401. We will follow up closer to the event with directions and parking information.
When: Friday, June 14th, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. Information to follow on a suggested lunch meet-up spot.
Registration: Registration is limited to 35 participants. Please RSVP to or (912)-651-4212 by Monday June 10th. Guests are welcome!

Historic Architectural Sketches of Augusta First Presbyterian Church now available digitally

The Georgia Heritage Room of the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System is pleased to announce the availability of Designs for Augusta Church, State of Georgia by Robert Mills of South Carolina, Architect, Philadelphia, 22 July 1807 at
The collection consists of an architectural record book belonging to First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, Georgia, and created by nationally renowned architect Robert Mills in July 1807. Mills executed the three-part record at the behest of the building committee, and in it details plans for the design of the future church. Support for this project provided by the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System and Georgia HomePLACE, a unit of the Georgia Public Library Service.
Tina Monaco of the Georgia Heritage Room notes: “Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System is honored to have assisted First Presbyterian Church of Augusta with the digital preservation of Robert Mills’ manuscript of architectural designs, particularly as it contributes to the early history of the Church as well as Augusta. More broadly, the plans are an excellent example of Mills’ early portfolio, complementing an already vast body of work that defined him as a key architect of the Early Republic.”
Pages from Mills’s church design record book


About Robert Mills

Robert Mills is known, among his many projects, for the design of the Washington Monument. A prolific architect and engineer, Mills began his studies in Charleston, but as a young man moved to Philadelphia, and apprenticed under James Hoban, designer of the White House, a project to which Mills contributed. He also studied under famed architect and engineer of the period, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, and fell under the tutelage of Thomas Jefferson who designed and built Monticello, his home in Charlottesville, Virginia. Throughout his life, Robert Mills designed numerous buildings throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including official appointments by President Andrew Jackson in 1836 to design office complexes for the U.S. Treasury and the Patent Office. Mills was also an accomplished author, having published Mills’ Atlas of South Carolina in 1825.
Design for First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Georgia (1807) was accomplished early in his career, during a time when he received commissions to build other churches, notably the Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Classical Revival architecture predominated during the mid-eighteenth century onward, heavily influencing Mills and his contemporaries. This style is reflected in his plans for First Presbyterian Church. Though the building has undergone significant remodels over the years, it retains its original classical form.

Call For Proposals: Society of Georgia Archivists 2019 Annual Meeting

The Society of Georgia Archivists Annual Meeting Program Committee proudly presents the theme for the 2019 conference: Strong Roots, Stronger Branches: SGA at 50.
The Committee invites you to attend the meeting, to be held at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center in Augusta, Georgia, October 16-18, 2019.

With SGA celebrating its 50th anniversary, this year’s program reflects on the profession’s roots in diverse settings, constituencies, and institutions, while exploring its growth as it branches out with new technologies and innovation. Presentations will examine how archivists can further strengthen their collections, programs, and services using both established practices and creative methods.  
For the 2019 annual meeting, the Program Committee seeks presentation and poster proposals that improve our understanding of the following key topics as we grow into SGA’s next 50 years:
  • Collection development and management with limited staff and resources;
  • Traditional processes applied to the contemporary information landscape;
  • Conservation and preservation of analog and digital collections;
  • Broadening access and increasing inclusion in services and collections;
  • Emerging platforms, tools, and media types;
  • Future-focused archival education and training
Traditional panel sessions are welcome, but the Program Committee is also seeking proposals for hands-on, interactive, or discussion-based sessions. We encourage potential presenters to review the SGA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion and consider how their proposed session content will serve and support a wide variety of institution types, professional roles and backgrounds, and user communities.  

We invite you to share your work as part of a vibrant, diverse, and growing archival community as we celebrate SGA’s golden anniversary. Please join us for Strong Roots, Stronger Branches: SGA at 50.

To submit a proposal, please use the form found here. Deadline for proposals is April 30, 2019.

Profile: Susie LaBord (1911-1991) a.k.a. Mama LaBord, Great Lady of Grady Homes

By Meredith Torre, Archivist, Atlanta Housing Authority

Born in Alabama May 29, 1911 as one of 14 children to a sharecropper, Susie LaBord was appointed the first public housing resident in Atlanta to serve as a voting Atlanta Housing Commissioner member by Mayor Sam Massell in the 1970s. She received national recognition as an unflagging and determined spokesperson for the rights and needs of disadvantaged Americans.

Photograph 2014.05292. Susie
LaBord, circa 1985.

LaBord fought alongside people to help them break out of what she called the “poverty cycle,” affirming that it was through programs of community action that, “poor people of all races get a chance to stand on their own feet, learn, earn, and carry their share of the load.” Although Rev. Leon Harris described Susie LaBord as, “sweet, soft spoken, and sophisticated,” he equally described her as “radiant and reaching out; a leader, lady wearing many hats” and “eager to do for others.” 

Mrs. LaBord’s personal motto, “keep on keeping on” started in her community work back in 1933 during the time she and her husband Gus operated the Fourth Street Rib Shack at Fourth and Cain Streets. They held a collection from Atlanta businesses in the Fourth Ward to distribute among the community’s poor.

In 1951, when her husband was stricken with cancer, LaBord moved to Grady Homes and continued to dedicate her life to helping others following his death. Affectionately known to many Atlantans as “Mama LaBord,” AH Vice-President Jack F. Glenn, in a 1976 Board resolution wrote that her advice and counsel was “sought by political, religious, and business leaders as well as by ordinary people, young and old.” She served as president of the Grady Homes Tenants Association for over 25 years and director and organizer of the Susie LaBord Day Care Center for over 28 years.

Each year LaBord passed out nearly 825 bags of fruit, sweets, and nuts at Christmas time that she and volunteers from Atlanta Housing staff helped to assemble for the children and elderly of Grady Homes. Mrs. LaBord received national attention in her support of programs aimed at low income families, rights of the poor, and her advocacy of federal legislation for community action programs.

She prevailed relentlessly upon President Richard Nixon for drug and nutrition programs. She corresponded with President Lyndon B. Johnson, often reaching the President on the telephone when many Senators could not do so, and once barged into the Oval Office to make sure President Johnson did not cut the city’s Equal Opportunity funds.

Photograph 2013.01079. Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson
and Mrs. Susie LaBord, first resident commissioner of Atlanta Housing.

She was received by President Jimmy Carter in celebration of the anniversary of the Head Start Program. Throughout the 1970s, she made several trips to Washington and St. Louis to speak to the public in the fight to maintain high levels of public housing.

At the age of 80, when LaBord passed away, the Atlanta Journal Constitution hailed her as the Great Lady of Grady Homes. “The Housing Authority was her family, her life,” Bettye Davis, then Director of resident housing for Atlanta Housing stated, and Mrs. LaBord was “a most effective fighter for the rights of public housing residents.”

Learn more about Susie LaBord in her collection at the Atlanta Housing Authority, and in the AHA’s Grady Homes and Veranda at Auburn Pointe Records.

Untraditional Archives Jobs: Corporate Digital Asset Management

Did you know that corporate businesses need archivists and librarians? Marketing and brand assets need organization, too! There is a growing appetite for information science surrounding a business’s use of their own marketing materials, which is exactly where an archivist or librarian can make a big impact. Whether you are describing and making available historical artifacts, scholarly articles, or a global brand’s logo—the skills are the same! The focus on accurate, quality ensured data remains, as does the accomplishment of solving a tough reference request
Digital asset management (DAM) is the process through which rich media files are stored, organized, and reused. Businesses are creating digital ecosystems that require a DAM system as a foundation to ensure their collateral is on brand and increasingly automated.  The launch and maintenance of these systems are large endeavors that present great opportunities for digital librarians.
Most businesses require more than just the migration of files into their new DAM. Usually their systems need taxonomy improvements to help people find the files that exist. It’s difficult to fully leverage your marketing assets if they have been tagged with terms that the users do not understand! A digital librarian can make sure their DAM has an intuitive set of metadata fields and tags that flexes as the business grows or changes.
Businesses don’t always realize that they are looking specifically for a digital librarian to organize their content. DAM is often outsourced to agencies with expertise rather than managed internally, due to the specialized nature of the asset management work. 
ICP is one such agency that fills this niche, with its U.S. business headquartered in Atlanta.  A typical project at ICP begins with a large asset migration—moving marketing files from existing siloed systems and individual hard drives into one ‘single source of truth.’ The cross-mapping of metadata from disparate systems and creation of metadata when it doesn’t exist is where an information science skillset is vital. 
In the field of DAM, there will always be a need for digital archivists and librarians to create and quality control the critical metadata that enables asset reuse and increases business efficiency.   
To learn more about the DAM industry and open roles at ICP, please reach out to

International Women’s Year in the Georgia Archives

The United Nations proclaimed that 1975 was International Women’s Year. In the spirit of the United Nations’ proclamation, on January 9, 1975, U.S. President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11832 creating a National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year “to promote equality between men and women.”
President Ford selected 1977 as the International Women’s Year in the United States and budgeted $5 million to pay for state and territory meetings and one national meeting to discuss the status of American Women.
Atlanta held its workshops on May 6 and 7, 1977.  A variety of events were scheduled from May 1-7.
Georgia Archives’ holdings include several collections on the 1977 International Women’s Year. The National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year Records collection gives a detailed overview of the event.  Included in the collection is a great deal of information on attendees’ differing opinions on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year Records, 1978-0074M
National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year Records, Georgia Women’s Meeting Posters, 1977
Georgia Archives, International Women’s Year Records, F-7289, Poster, 1977

Women’s History Month Collection Highlight: Dr. Anna Barbara Grey

Anna Barbara Grey was a physician in Burma and India. Her collection is now available to researchers, and the collection’s finding aid appears in the American Baptist Historical Society’s online catalog.

After a period of training in the U.S. and in London, Dr. Grey was appointed a missionary of the Women’s American Baptist Foreign Mission Society in 1922. She was instrumental in the development of the Ellen Mitchell Memorial Hospital in Burma. When the war came to Burma in 1941, Gray and the staff evacuated the patients before she went to India in January 1942. She worked as a member of the medical staff of the Victoria Memorial Mission Hospital in Hanamkonda and the American Baptist Mission Hospital in Nellore. In 1945, she returned briefly to Moulmein under the sponsorship of the Red Cross to investigate damages. She returned to the U.S. in 1957 and retired.

Dr. Anna Barbara Grey

SGA Scholarship Opportunities

The Society of Georgia Archivists has a vibrant and active scholarship program to enable students and archivists to attend the Georgia Archives Institute, conferences, and annual meetings sponsored by the Society of Georgia Archivists and the Society of American Archivists. These scholarships afford practitioners and students to attend such professional development opportunities that they may might not otherwise have the personal finances nor financial support from their institutions to attend.

An auction is held at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Georgia Archivists each year to benefit the scholarships; however, monetary donations are always welcomed.

Workshops & Continuing Education Scholarships:

·       Carrol Hart Scholarship– Provides funding to attend the Georgia Archives Institute in June. Deadline to apply is March 29, 2019
·       Brenda S. Banks Educational Workshop Scholarship – Provides funding to attend the SGA-sponsored Spring/Summer Workshop as scheduled by the Education Committee
·       Anthony R. Dees Educational Workshop Scholarship – Provides funding to attend the SGA-sponsored Pre-Conference Workshop (held the day preceding the SGA Annual Meeting)
Annual Meetings Scholarships:
·       Edward Weldon Scholarship– Provides the registration fee for an SGA member to attend the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting.
·       Larry Gulley Scholarship– Provides funding to attend the SGA Annual Meeting
·       Taronda Spencer Award– Provides funding for students of color to attend the SGA Annual Meeting

For more information about our scholarship opportunities or how to donate to a scholarship, please email