SGA Board of Directors Issues Statement Regarding COVID-19

COVID-19 Resources

Statement from the SGA Board of Directors

March 20, 2020

Atlanta, GA — The Board of Directors of the Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA Board) fully endorses the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Council’s March 18, 2020 statement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Given the danger of contact with this contagion, the SGA Board calls for those archival institutions in Georgia which have not already closed to the public to do so immediately and discontinue requiring non-emergency staff to report to work. As of March 20, 2020, the infection and death rates in Georgia continue to climb at an exponential rate. In an effort to flatten the curve and avoid overwhelming our medical resources, archivists’ focus should be on supporting people—our professionals, staff, and the general public—as they self-quarantine and/or shelter-in-place.

In its statement, the SAA Council recognized “that it can be challenging to develop remote work activities that support the material and unique preservation imperatives of archives. However, in this time of crisis, individual health and safety are of utmost importance.” The SGA Board agrees with this position, and furthermore endorses the inclusion of financial safety in this list of imperatives. While all effort should be put toward finding options for remote work (SAA’s Accessibility and Disability Section has created a working document or identifying projects), the SGA Board urges cultural heritage institutions, corporate, government, and private archives to continue to pay and provide benefits to their professional, staff, student, part-time, contract, temporary, and independent workers through the duration of this crisis.

SGA will be providing information and daily updates about operational changes to Georgia’s archival institutions via its website. Archivists are encouraged to report changes in their institutions’ operations using this form. Resources for archivists and librarians navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to those provided by the CDC, WHO, and Georgia Department of Public Health, can be found at the link.

The full statement can be viewed here.
The spreadsheet of Georgia archives affected by COVID-19 closings can be viewed here.

Digitization of City Directories for Albany from 1922-1950 now Available through Digital Library of Georgia

WRITER: Mandy Mastrovita,, 706-583-0209

CONTACT: Sheila McAlister,, 706-542-5418
ATHENS, Ga. — Digitization of city directories for Albany, Georgia, dating from 1922-1950.
New online records are now available for people researching their families in Albany, Georgia. The Digital Library of Georgia has just added a collection of city directories housed at the Dougherty County Public Library, dating from 1922-1950. The collection, Albany, Georgia City Directories, is available at and contains eleven directories covering Albany during intermittent years from 1922 to 1950, and one 1937 directory from Americus.
City directories existed before telephone directories and often listed the names, addresses, occupations, and ethnicities of people in American towns and cities. Because they contain so much detailed information, they are vital resources for researchers, genealogists, and the general public. According to the Library of Congress, city directories “are among the most important sources of information about urban areas and their inhabitants. They provide personal and professional information about a city’s residents as well as information about its business, civic, social, religious, charitable, and literary institutions.”
Christina Shepherd, head of reference for the Dougherty County Public Library describes the relevance of Albany’s city directories to the researchers in her library:
“Several patrons have asked to use the directories to see who lived in their house, to trace an ancestor’s life, verifying use of land, or to see who ran what businesses.  A specific example was in 1940 there was a tornado that came through and destroyed a lot of downtown Albany. While these directories do not show that event, they show the city stayed strong after that event. The directories have the addresses where businesses were before the tornado in 1939 to where they had to relocate in 1941. Just think, those directories were the same books that our relatives, our city leaders, and others used to find an address or phone number!”
J. Douglas Porter, a writer based in Albany Georgia, notes: “Much of the material I have been looking at has been digitized and is searchable. This has not only been a useful time-saver, but it has also proven to be more reliable than my visual scans of many pages of materials. The city directories have a high level of historic value and potential for reuse by multiple audiences well into the future. In fact, they will become even more valuable as time passes and the paper copies crumble.”
Link to featured images:
Albany, Georgia city directory 1934-35 containing an alphabetically arranged list of names, a classified business directory, a street directory, and much useful miscellaneous information
1934-1935 city directory for Albany, Georgia containing information that identifies Albany residents, their occupations and local businesses.
About Dougherty County Public Library
The Dougherty County Public Library’s mission is “To Strengthen our Community by Inspiring, Encouraging, and Supporting Life-long Learning for all.”  The goals of the library are to select, assemble and administer organized collections of educational and recreational library materials; to serve the community as a center of reliable information and a place where inquiring minds may encounter original, unorthodox, or critical ideas in our society; to provide opportunities and encouragement for individuals to continue their educations; to supplement and help formal education programs; to seek, continually, to identify community needs; to support civic groups, cultural activities, or cooperate with other agencies as they work for community good; to maintain and disseminate public information encouraging to individuals to better use the libraries as well as to contribute to the field of professional librarianship; to enhance interest and research in local history; and to provide opportunity for substantive recreational and constructive use of leisure time through the use of literature, music, films, and other forms. Visit
About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project. Visit the DLG at