The Society of Georgia Archivists joins the entire archives profession in mourning the passing of Dr. David B. Gracy, II. Many in our community knew Dr. Gracy well–as colleagues, students, friends, or fellow SGA members–and his loss will be deeply felt. Dr. Gracy was an early leader in archival education and many will recall not only his achievements in the field, but also his great kindness, enthusiasm, and sense of humor.
Dr. Gracy came to Georgia in 1971 as Archivist for Georgia State University’s Southern Labor and University Archives, a department he helped to cultivate to its current status as one of the leading collections of organized labor history in the South. During his six years in Georgia, Dr. Gracy made a tremendous impact on the archives profession: he was instrumental in establishing the Southern Labor Studies Conference; was appointed by Governor George Busbee to serve on the 1976 State Historical Records Advisory Board of Georgia; served as the third President of this organization from 1972-1974; was founding editor of Provenance (then Georgia Archive); and for twelve years taught “Introduction to Archival Enterprise” at the Georgia Archives Institute. SGA’s David B. Gracy, II Award, first bestowed in 1990, honors superior contributions to Provenance.
Following his time in Georgia, Dr. Gracy went on to become Director of Archives at Texas Tech and State Archivist of Texas. He served as President of the Society of American Archivists, the Academy of Certified Archivists, and Austin Archivists. He was also a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Society and President of the Austin Chapter of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators. Dr. Gracy was the author of several books, including Archives and Manuscripts: Arrangement and Description; Littlefield Lands: Colonization on the Texas Plains, 1912-1920; Too Lightly Esteemed in the Past: Archival Enterprise, Records Management and Preservation Administration in Texas; Moses Austin: His Life; and most recently, A Man Absolutely Sure of Himself: Texan George Washington Littlefield.
The Society of Georgia Archivists is grateful to Dr. Gracy for his crucial early work in support of the Society and is deeply saddened by the loss of such a powerful force in the archives profession. May Dr. Gracy rest in peace, and may we all continue to honor his legacy through our care and advocacy for archives and archivists.