Georgia Archives Programs and Education Resources

The Georgia Archives’ offers resources available on the Program and Education page of the Archives’ website. “Programs” is located under the “visit” tab on the navigation bar. Posted here is the video of the Georgia Archives’ virtual Lunch and Learn program Discovering Your Georgia Roots Using the Virtual Vault presented by Reference Archivist Tamika Strong. On this video, Strong explores genealogy resources available on the Virtual Vault. Included on the site to compliment the presentation are several handouts: How to use the Virtual Vault and instructions, presentation slides, and a Virtual Vault scavenger hunt.

The Lunch and Learn video can also be viewed on the YouTube channel “Georgia Archives.”

On the Program and Education page are also handouts and PowerPoints on genealogy, slave laws, and family research. You can view curated digitally accessible exhibits showcasing resources at the Georgia Archives. Exhibits illustrate subjects in Georgia history with primary sources and include useful information for the family history researcher.

Look for future additions to the Program and Education page.

If you have any questions, please email Georgia Archives Education Specialist Penny Cliff at

The Georgia Archives is a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Georgia Archives identifies, collects, manages, preserves, provides access to, and publicizes records and information of Georgia and its people, and assists state and local government agencies with their records management. This work is done within the framework of the USG’s mission to create a more highly educated Georgia.

130 Years of Atlanta Area African American Funeral Programs Now Freely Available Online

Over 130 Years of Atlanta Area African American Funeral Programs Now Freely Available Online

Georgia’s public libraries and their partners continue to make new content freely available online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Newly digitized African American funeral programs are a boon to remote researchers, genealogists, and learners of all ages.

ATLANTA– Over 11,500 pages of digitized African American funeral programs from Atlanta and the Southeast are now freely available in the Digital Library of Georgia. The digital collection of 3,348 individual programs dates between 1886-2019 and contains contributions from the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, a special library of the Fulton County Library System; the Wesley Chapel Genealogy Group; and the Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Digitization was funded by Georgia HomePLACE, a program of the Georgia Public Library Service. 

“Funerals are such an important space for African Americans, said Auburn Avenue Research Library archivist and lead project contributor Derek Mosley. “The tradition of funerals is not reserved for the wealthy or privileged, but the community. It is that lasting document of someone’s life. In the program is the history and throughout this collection you see the evolution of the stories people left for future generations. I was amazed at the one pagers from the 1940’s, and by the 2000’s there was full color, multiple pages, and a ton of photographs highlighting the life and love shared by the families. This collection is public space for legacy.”

Funeral programs provide valuable social and genealogical information, typically including a photograph of the deceased, an obituary, a list of surviving relatives, and the order of service. Some programs provide more extensive details about the deceased, such as birth and death dates, maiden names, past residences, and place of burial. This data that can otherwise be hard to find, particularly for marginalized populations. Records of these communities were often either destroyed, kept in private hands, or never created in the first place.

“The challenge for African American genealogy and family research continues to be the lack of free access to historical information that can enable us to tell the stories of those who have come before us,” said Tammy Ozier, president of the Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. “This monumental collection helps to close this gap, allowing family researchers to get closer to their clans, especially those in the metro Atlanta area, the state of Georgia, and even those outside of the state.”

The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History  began collecting funeral programs in 1994 with an initial donation by library staff. Since then, staff and the public have continued to add to the collection with a focus on the city of Atlanta. Although the materials have been physically open for research for decades, they can now be accessed beyond the library’s walls. In 2012, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society  Atlanta Chapter began its funeral program collection project in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History and the Wesley Chapel Genealogy Group.

Fulton County Library System Director Gayle Holloman said, “Funerals are filled, of course, with moments that allow expressions of great sorrow. However, for so many, especially in black communities, the funeral program is the written and preserved benediction to a life lived. It is my hope that the understanding of that fact will be treasured for generations to come.” 

Funeral programs are still being accepted by both organizations; to contribute to either collection, contact the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History or the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society  Atlanta Chapter at the links below.


Georgia HomePLACE encourages public libraries and related institutions across the state to participate in the Digital Library of Georgia, and offers a highly collaborative model for digitizing primary source collections related to local history and genealogy. HomePLACE is a project of the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. HomePLACE is supported with federal Library Services and Technology Act funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service.

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. The Digital Library of Georgia 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.

Anchoring the west end of the Sweet Auburn historic district, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History opened May 1994 in Atlanta. A special library of the Fulton County Library System (formerly the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System), it is the first public library in the Southeast to offer specialized reference and archival collections dedicated to the study and research of African American culture and history and of other peoples of African descent.

The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., Metro Atlanta Chapter was established in February 2000. It is one of 39 chapters of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., a national non-profit membership organization of diverse membership committed to the preservation of the history, genealogy and culture of African-ancestored populations of the local, national and international communities.

Created in 2007 in response to a strong interest in genealogy in South DeKalb County, the Wesley Chapel Genealogy Group is a monthly discussion group that strives to support attendees in their genealogical endeavor.  Expanding its roots from its home base at the Wesley Chapel Library, the group has served the DeKalb County Public Library and the communities it serves by providing several genealogy workshops in the hopes of helping others trace their familial roots. The funeral program project is one of its most successful endeavors to date.

Selected images from the collections:

·  Homegoing Celebration for Deacon James Climmie Barber, Sr. “Jack”, October 23, 1917- August 9, 2000. Monday, August 14, 2000, 1:00 P.M., Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 469 Mt. Olive Road, Stockbridge, Georgia 30281, The Reverend Doctor Hopie Strickland, Jr., Pastor & Eulogist

·  Funeral Services for Mrs. Julia Burton, 1:00 P.M., June 26, 1967, West Mitchell Street C.M.E. Church, 575 Mitchell Street, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia, Rev. E.H. Hicks, Pastor

·  Funeral Services for Mr. Stanley Maddox, Second Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Markham Street at Northside Drive, Monday, June 1, 1970, 2:00 P.M., George W. Baker, Officiating

·  Homegoing Services for Mrs. Susie Gibson McIver, Wednesday, July 7, 1993, 11:00 A.M., Turner Monumental A.M.E. Church, 66 Howard Street, Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia, The Reverend S.W. Wicker, Pastor, Officiating

·  Celebration of Life, Ollisteen “Steen” Davis King Miles, August 20-1946- March 29, 2017

SGA Board Approves Salary Transparency Statement

Statement from the SGA Board of Directors

Atlanta, Ga.– On April 20, 2020, the Society of Georgia Archivists’ Board of Directors voted to endorse the Society of American Archivists’ Ad-Hoc Salary Transparency Working Group’s open letter to the SAA Council in favor of a salary transparency policy.  As of June 1, 2020, the Society of Georgia Archivists will no longer post professional opportunities (part-time/temporary jobs, full-time/permanent jobs, or internships) that do not include salary information through any of its organizational communication channels. We will also not accept postings for unpaid internships. 
SGA is taking this step for several reasons: 

  • Multiple surveys of the broader GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) field specifically have affirmed that lack of transparency regarding salaries and earnings expectations is a significant concern for professionals at all stages of their careers. 
  • Several other professional organizations such as AMIA, Northwest Archivists, and Society of Southwest Archivists have changed their policies on job postings to dissuade employers from posting jobs without salary information or unpaid internships.  
  • Recently a group of archivists have included recommendations for active steps to promote salary transparency and advocate for fair wages and hiring practices in our field. In this respect, we are also acting alongside other professional organizations including the Society of American Archivists, American Library Association, and regional archives associations. 

This will mean some open positions available in our field will not be posted on the SGA website or through our other organizational communication channels. 
We believe this step is justified. By keeping salary information secret, employers obscure structural inequalities and enable them to persist. Without salary information, it becomes harder to make the case that one is experiencing pay discrimination. Job postings with undisclosed salary information are a drain on everyone’s resources, wasting both the employer’s and the interviewee’s valuable time and money, even as candidates may not be able to work for the salary offered.
As with salary transparency, a wealth of recent research and reports from the field emphasize the ways in which reliance on unpaid labor in the form of internships further perpetuates systemic inequities and economic injustice, and devalues the skilled labor  performed in archival institutions and collections. 
In restricting employment postings to paid positions only, the Society of Georgia Archivists stands with archival workers to increase the visibility and accessibility of paid professional experiences for students and work for professionals at all career stages.

Related Resources

  • SAA Update: Advocating for archivist pay, view here
  • Business Archives Section (BAS) Salary Requirement Survey, view here
  • Endorsement of a living wage for all library employees and a minimum salary for professional librarians, view here
  • Things that must be talked about, view here.
  • Salary information now required in job postings.
  • Northwest Archivists Policy for Accepting Job Postings, view here.
  • Wages for intern work: De-Normalizing unpaid positions in libraries and archives, view here.

This policy is based on AMIA’s “Board Position Statement on Salary Transparency.”  View the SGA Board’s full statement here.

SGA Endorses the SAA Council’s Statement on Black Lives and Archives

On June 4, 2020, the SGA Board voted unanimously to endorse the SAA Council’s Statement on Black Lives and Archives, and voiced its unequivocal opposition to the harassment, violence, and neglect of Black and brown communities

It is now up to each of us to continue the much harder work of putting this statement into action. As archivists, we reckon with history deeply and often, and we acknowledge the existence and particular U.S. legacy of structural racism, white supremacy, militarism, gatekeeping, and institutional power. We also recognize moments of grace, collective uprising, community solidarity, cultural exchange, and the power of transformative justice. 

As we are each called to consider our spheres of influence and how within them we might effect change, I would also ask you to consider ways SGA might change, too. Your Board is in the process of identifying short-term internal and external actions we can take, as well as finalizing a proactive strategic plan for the longer term. We will be coming to you with questions that will help inform our priorities for future action, and we hope you’ll consider providing your thoughtful feedback.

As always, your Board members are here for your concerns, questions, and ideas. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us at any point if there is something you’d like to discuss.

Wishing each of you and your families safety, health, and peace.

Georgia Archives Virtual Lunch and Learn: Discovering Your Georgia Roots Using the Virtual Vault

Discovering Your Georgia Roots
Using the Virtual Vault
June 2020 Virtual Lunch and Learn
On Friday, June 12, 2020, noon-1:00 p.m., the Georgia Archives’ first virtual Lunch and Learn program will be available to the public. Discovering Your Georgia Roots Using the Virtual Vaultwill be presented by Reference Archivist Tamika Strong. 
The goals for the presentation are to discuss and explore resources that can be utilized to trace family roots in Georgia and share the methodology and research tips to locate records in the Virtual Vault.
The Georgia Archives’ Virtual Vault is a portal to some of Georgia’s most important historical documents, from 1733 to the present. The Vault provides virtual access to historic Georgia manuscripts, photographs, maps, and government records housed at the Archives.
The live event is hosted through Microsoft Teams. Use browsers Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer 11. If you plan on using an iPhone or tablet, you may have to download the Microsoft Teams app. Click on Join Live Event to join the Lunch and Learn.
If you have any questions, please email Georgia Archives Education Specialist Penny Cliff at
Lunch and Learn Programs are free and open to the public and are sponsored by Friends of Georgia Archives and History (FOGAH).