SGA Members tour the Bartow History and Booth Western Museums

Submitted by Marion Hudson

We had a good turnout for our SGA membership outing in August. The Booth Western Art Museum and the Bartow History Museum hosted some wonderful tours to 11 of our members.

The first tour included a behind the scenes look into the Bartow History Archives, recently named for the Mulinix Family of Bartow County. Our guide, Trey Gaines, then took us over to the Bartow History Museum and discussed the history of the building. The group had time to explore the temporary exhibit of It’s All Fun & Games: Iconic Toys of the Past and the permanent collection on the upper floor.

A docent led highlights tour at the Booth Western Art Museum covered many of the museum’s permanent and loaned collection. Pat, a long time docent at the Booth, led a great tour full of interesting history and facts about art and artists housed at the Booth. A horse created from recycled materials, “Walking Horse” by Leo Sewell, was a great talking piece among the group! The piece is created from repurposed metals.

Walking Horse by Leo Sewell

After the docent tour, Marion Hudson, gave the group a look at the Booth Research Library. Marion has been the librarian/archivist for the Booth since 2020. Many of the SGA members enjoyed lunch in the Booth Café with its wonderful view of the Bartow History Museum, which is housed in the historical courthouse. 

We thank the Booth Western Art Museum and the Bartow History Museum for their hospitality. For more information on the Booth Western Art Museum and the Bartow History Museum visit the websites below. Both are sister museums to the Tellus Science Museum and Savoy Automobile Museum; all are part of Georgia Museums, Inc.

See their websites at www.boothmuseum.org and www.bartowhistorymuseum.org.

Archives Night at the Fox Theatre

Submitted by Leigh Burns, Director Fox Theatre Institute

The Fox Theatre, in partnership with Atlanta History Center (AHC), hosted our first Archives Night here at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, June 16th. The evening was planned originally for 2020, then later revived in 2022, with the support of our colleagues at AHC. We had more than one hundred attend the event with members from both AHC and our Friends of the Fox. We were thrilled by the enthusiasm for the event and the attendance exceeded our expectations.

Beyond collaborating with AHC staff on the event, we also enjoyed hosting many of their devoted members here to discover our own Fox Theatre archival collections. The special event gave our guests an opportunity to discover firsthand dozens of artifacts, many for the first time, from the Fox’s archives by rotating presentations from three archival experts. Our experts included Paul Crater, Debra Freer, and Josh Kitchens. These individuals have worked in our archives in different capacities throughout the years and have exceptional archival experience. In their individual, rotating presentations, each highlighted some the Fox’s original furniture, lighting, artwork, movie and show posters, and our 1970s Save the Fox campaign memorabilia. Before the rotating presentations began, Paul Crater gave an informative and enjoyable opening address. Paul’s personal interest in our own collections and his devotion to preserving Atlanta history is admirable. We are so grateful that Paul helped us lead this first-time effort. Well beyond that evening, Paul continues to support all our archives through consulting as needed.

The Fox Theatre Archives is located onsite here at the Fox Theatre. Our archives space was formally integrated into the Restoration department of the Fox Theatre in 1996. Following the 1996 fire that began in the adjoining restaurant, our Fox Theatre leadership established a permanent, climate-controlled designated area for our irreplaceable items. The archives were built out of a previous administrative area and established to protect the various artifacts important to legacy of the theatre. Beyond thousands of paper artifacts, our collections within our “living museum” includes historic furniture, historic lighting, our Moller “Mighty Mo” organ, and other artwork including architectural features. The Fox Theatre funds the ongoing care of the collections through a restoration fee added to all ticketed, public events. Every time one of our patrons join us at the Fox, they are contributing financially to the care of our collections, including our Fox Theatre archives. In addition to the physical objects, we maintain our collection electronically through the Access to Memory database. The database was implemented in 2018 and we use this to assist with external and internal requests from the public and staff as needed. We maintain architectural drawings, historical photographs and other historical documents that support the work of our marketing and facilities and restoration team members.

We look forward to hosting additional public events relating to our Archives and we hope potentially another Archives Night in early 2023. We are grateful for the support of many archivists from the metro-Atlanta area for attending this first special event. For more information about the history of the Fox Theatre please feel free to visit our website at https://www.foxtheatre.org/about/fox-historystory

For questions about the archives please feel free to reach out to me at leigh.burns@foxtheatre.org

VSU Indexing the Equal Rights Magazine

Submitted by Douglas R. Carlson, Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections

The Valdosta State University Odum Library Archives and Special Collections acquired a run of the Equal Rights magazine published from the 1920’s – 50’s when the National Women’s Party (NWP) disposed of its surplus. The magazine covers four decades of worldwide women’s issues. The NWP publication highlights then current events in the areas of fair representation, voting and the fight for equal rights. The magazine has been a key addition to our collection of publications for traditionally underrepresented groups that includes The Southern Patriot Civil Rights Newspaper and the Black Panther Party Newspaper.

The archive has increasingly tried to identify and collect materials that support the university curriculum. Collaborating with the History Department, the VSU Archives has built a successful student volunteer program offering history class credit for participation in indexing projects. The magazine collection has enabled the archives to expand this effort to include students and interns from the Women’s and Gender studies program who index Equal Rights.  This is a challenging task for students because writing in the 20’s and 30’s was so different than the way we use words and arguments today.  Such writing often “talks around” an issue rather than addressing it succinctly. Pulling out details and summarizing often requires careful reading.   

Since the magazine still has copyright restrictions, we chose to create access by indexing the articles into a searchable database. Students read the text and then record specific metadata for issue, date, subject, people and a summary of the article for entry into an in-house created My-SQL database. Published online, the database allows researchers to browse and then request fair use reprints of specific articles. The archives staff tracks entries for accuracy, completeness, and level of student participation. While indexing, students have begun to research and compile more information on people mentioned frequently in the magazine.

The Equal Rights indexing is part of our vital efforts at increasing collection outreach, student involvement and access to primary sources. We hope access to the collection will increase scholarly research at the university. The indexing activity has also been included in new efforts to increase experiential learning by offering students an opportunity to participate in a public history project. The Equal Rights Newsletter Collection may be accessed at https://archivesspace.valdosta.edu/repositories/2/resources/473 . The index may be searched at https://archives.valdosta.edu/equal-rights/ .

Processing and Digitization of the Joseph Echols and Evelyn Gibson Lowery Collection at the AUC Woodruff Library

By Lowery Project Team Members Amber L. Moore (Project Archivist) and Cathy Miller (Digitization Project Manager), Atlanta University Center’s Woodruff Library

In May 2021, the family of late civil rights icons Joseph and Evelyn Lowery have gifted a priceless collection of official and personal papers, photographs, writings, speeches, audio and video recordings, and other mementos to Morehouse College. The Joseph Echols and Evelyn Gibson Lowery Collection includes over 400 linear feet of invaluable materials chronicling the Lowerys’ work with civil and human rights leaders.

Over the next several months, grant funded project archivists and archival assistants will provide expert care to organize, describe, and digitize the collection to ensure broad accessibility – both physically and digitally. The Joseph Echols and Evelyn Gibson Lowery Collection expands the body of primary-sourced materials available for teaching, learning and research in the Atlanta University Center and to scholars around the globe.

Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, called the “dean of the civil rights movement,” helped create the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and served as founding vice president alongside founding president Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He later served as SCLC chairman and as president and CEO. During the historic Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights in Alabama, which commenced with the violent beating of nonviolent marchers on what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday,” Lowery led the delegation delivering a list of demands to segregationist former Alabama Governor George Wallace. His peaceful activism for justice resulted in numerous arrests and having his property seized by the state of Alabama in a historic libel suit, which resulted in a vindication by the U.S. Supreme Court and a precedent protecting the free speech rights of the press and citizen advocates.

Evelyn Gibson Lowery was a civil rights pioneer and change agent. She established SCLC/ W.O.M.E.N. (Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now, Inc.), which instituted programs on global issues including HIV/AIDS, computer and GED education for women, mentoring for girls, and civil rights history. She created 13 monuments honoring civil rights heroes while also creating a civil rights heritage tour. She graduated from Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University.

The Joseph Echols and Evelyn Gibson Lowery Collection will be archived and curated at the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library and used to provide scholars, researchers, students, and the general public with an authentic understanding of the impact, sacrifice, and legacy of these civil rights pioneers. Select audiovisual and textual materials are in the process of being digitized from the collection and made available through the AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library’s online repository, RADAR. Currently, the digital collection contains a mix of videos documenting activities of the SCLC and SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., photographs, and full text searchable versions of SCLC Magazine, the national magazine of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The digitized assets from The Joseph Echols and Evelyn Gibson Lowery Collection can be explored here

This will be the first in a series of posts here to the SGA blog where the Lowery Collection team will be sharing information about our processes and stories discovered from the collections during the work of processing and digitization. We hope you will be as excited to read these posts as we are to share the information with you.

Atlanta History Center Making Women’s History Accessible

As Atlanta History Center works to make history available and accessible to all, a key component is women’s history. In 2020, Atlanta History Center archivists created detailed inventories for 16 archival collections that focus on women’s history in Atlanta. The photographs and historical documents in the collections help tell the stories of women civic leaders, activists, photojournalists, and entrepreneurs. This initiative is made possible by Emily Bourne Grigsby whose bequest endows support for the research, interpretation, and presentation of the role of women in the South. Grigsby was a multi-talented philanthropist from Atlanta, who’s donation established the Emily Bourne Grigsby Fund for Women’s History.

Portrait of Emily Bourne Grigsby (1922-2020) modeling. Grigsby worked as a runway and print model for department stores for 15 years. She was also an opera singer for the San Francisco Opera and prolific artist and arts advocate. She later practiced as an arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Directors (NASD) and as a mediator for the Justice Center of Atlanta. Emily Bourne Grigsby visual arts materials, VIS 391, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

The 16 archival collections now available to the public because of the Grigsby Women’s History Fund include the following:

Suzanne Anderson Photographs

Atlanta Tomboys Documents

Atlanta Women’s Network Records

Lucinda Bunnen Photographs

Maria Helena Dolan Papers

Sally Fanny Gleaton Papers

Yolande Copley Gwin Visual Arts Materials

Emily Bourne Grigsby Visual Arts Materials

Florence Inman Photographs

Lochrane and Reid Family Papers

Chris Mastin Photographs of Protest Marches

Roan Family Papers

Leila Ross Wilburn Visual Arts Material

Darlene Roth Papers

Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta Visual Arts Materials

Cathy Woolard Papers

Along with her accomplishments as a model, opera singer, and arbitrator, Emily Bourne Grigsby (1922-2020) was also a licensed pilot. Pictured here is Grigsby with an unidentified man and child before take-off. Emily Bourne Grigsby visual arts materials, VIS 391, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Explore more about the Emily Bourne Grigsby Fund for Women’s History here https://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/learning-research/projects-initiatives/womens-work/

Submitted by Kate Daly, Visual Culture Archivist, Atlanta History Center

The Archives of Black Women Artists (Part One), featuring Sierra King

By Anicka Austin, SGA Blog Contributor and Visiting Archivist for the Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers
Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book library

Earlier this year, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences offered eight artists studio residencies at its Cross-Pollination Art Lab. The Hambidge Center regularly provides residencies on its 600-acre sanctuary in North Georgia and naturally has strong ties to Atlanta through the artists who live in the city and the Center’s donors.

Two of the artists, Jasmine Williams and Sierra King, used their time at the Lab focused on collaborative artmaking and exploring “the concept of archiving in real-time.” They worked parallel to each other, and King documented Williams’ creative process. King also installed “THROUGHLINE”, a physical timeline showing the intersections of their relationship from when their parents met to more recent projects like Williams’ Adult Swim Mural.

Photos of Jasmine Williams and Sierra King

The artists, no strangers to working together, began their parallel journey in middle school.

King: 

While we haven’t always been “Artists”, we have always been friends. Passing notes to each other in the hallway, connecting online at the beginning ages of social media and running into each other at music events. As both of our practices grew, we spent a lot of time in the studio together up until 2019.

Jasmine Williams, photographed by Sierra King

King is an archivist. Initially, her archival work of Black women artists began as an exploration in validation. For Black artists, having our work “validated” by its inclusion in an institution’s archival collection seems to be a step forward. She pushes back on that narrative now, saying, “there’s enough value in our work inherently. It doesn’t have to be validated by an institution.” There are many pivotal events or people in history who are not recognized on an institutional level. In our phone conversation, she uses the example of political actions, like protests, saying, “There are hundreds of thousands of Black people behind the front lines. Everyone has a story that deserves to be told.”

King’s archival history began with her family.

King:

I like to say that my first experience with the archives as a child was when I walked into my Grandmother’s living room. The walls were covered floor to ceiling with photographs of family, friends and babies that she had taken care of and watched grow up. While it wasn’t a formal institution, I look back on that memory as one that always required me to think deeply about the history of who my people were and our narratives.

King’s Grandfather, Horace Walter Stephens Jr., was one of the only African-American boy scout troop leaders in Atlanta in the 1970s and 1980s. He took troops around the world to locations where Buffalo Soldiers traveled, including Alaska and Ghana.  Sierra and her family are in the appraisal process with her Grandfather’s belongings which include sports memorabilia, rare books, Ebony and Jet magazines, and a collection of Black Barbies.

King says, “the beauty of personal archives is that you still live with them.”

Sierra King, age 7 or 8, with Barbie collection

Her words remind me of an Archiving the Black Web National Forum session that featured archivists’ web-based storytelling practices. Camille Lawrence, founder of Black Beauty Archives and one of the panelists, used the example of curating exhibitions in barber shops and beauty salons to underscore the importance of context when displaying archival material. The salon, as a cultural heritage institution, puts the material in the hands of those who directly relate to it. Additionally, environmental context illuminates nuances, allowing for greater understanding of the culture by those who are being introduced to it for the first time.

King:

 I was able to recognize that it [archival work] was something that I have been doing as a photographer all along. I was documenting Black Women Artists, like Jasmine in the Atlanta arts community as I went to exhibitions, studio visits and just creating relationships with them…. I learned that while documenting the practice is important, creating a trusting relationship to be present to document the more private moments is even more invaluable.

King’s creative process as a photographer has influenced her archival work. Part of her ethos in documenting the world around her comes from a desire to go out and life a full life, to create relationships and moments that nourish her. Shifting between mediums allows her to bring those living conversations into her work. She highlights her experiences and experiences of those around her through essays and curating exhibitions. She asks of viewers of the work, “Do you have any memories entangled in this? Do you see yourself in this history?”

Top: Sierra King, archival installation; Bottom: Sierra King, Mint Gallery installation

Within this is the drive towards sharing information about archival processes with Black women artists.

King: 

My mission for documenting, preserving and archiving the livelihoods of Black Women Artists has evolved and expanded. It is centered on providing them with the tools, knowledge and resources so that they can protect not only their personal narrative but also their career narrative. 

It has allowed me to also evolve and expand as an artist. It has informed where I want to take my own artistic practice and has me actively thinking about how I want to shape and present my narrative to the world. Most importantly it has allowed me to stand firm to say, “This is what my work as an archival installation / veneration / remembrance looks like.” 

I think the mission is something that archivists have always been striving towards and is received well because I am emphasizing that Black Women Artists be proactive and active in their archival processes while they are able to make the necessary choices.

Personal archives are at the heart of King’s work, even when the collection is donated to an institution. In 2017, King worked with Leigh Raiford and a project team on Kathleen Cleavers papers, which are now part of Rose Library collections.

Photos from Kathleen Cleaver papers, process photographed by Sierra King

King continues to reflect deeply on the role of archives in the lives of Black women artists. She was awarded the National Black Arts Festival Micro Grant, which she will use to continue to document Black women artists. She is currently working with Rosa Duffy at For Keeps! Black and Rare Classic Books designing an archival residency that will allow her time and space to take inventory and showcase some smaller archival installations. She will also be returning to the Hambidge Center in November for a creative residency, where she is looking to install one of her largest installations to date.For an example of her curatorial work, you can find documentation of Here. There. Everywhere, an exhibition King curated for Mint Gallery in 2020 on Google Arts and Culture Atlanta: Bold and Beautiful.

Photographs from Emory’s Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers are open for research

By Anicka Austin, Emory University Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library and SGA Blog Contributor

In the gospel of Mark in the New Testament of The Bible, readers meet Salome, Herodias’ daughter. Herodias harbored a strong dislike of John the Baptist, who disapproved of her marriage to Herod, her previous husband’s brother. Herodias’ opportunity to enact revenge came unexpectedly when Herod gave a banquet on his birthday. Salome dances beautifully for Herod and his guests during the banquet, prompting Herod to offer Salome anything she wants. Salome asks Herodias what she should request, returns to Herod and says, “the head of John the Baptist on a platter”. Herod reluctantly acquiesces (Mark 6:17-29). This story has been explored by artists throughout history and choreographer Lester Horton almost obsessively recreated and reimagined it throughout his career.

Carmen de Lavallade as Salome, and in The Beloved, Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University

Carmen de Lavallade first danced the hefty role of Salome in Horton’s production when she was still a teenager.  Frank Eng, Horton’s business manager and partner, said she possessed “a youthful, lovely lyricism; an implicit and natural feeling for drama…and, most important, the drive.” (Bizot, 1984).  De Lavallade’s commanding presence and ability to tap into the dramatic elements of a work would be a defining quality throughout her career.

For de Lavallade, dancing with Horton helped shape her formative years. She recalls working with Horton’s company as being part of a team. The group did everything from painting sets to cleaning, which she says set her up for a well-rounded career in the arts (You Might Know Her From, 2020). This is evident in early photographs of the company, including depictions of de Lavallade teaching young students, performing Salome (1950-1953) and The Beloved (created in 1948), and working intently in rehearsal processes. She would help reconstruct Salome, or as Horton later called it, The Face of Violence, along with James Truitte for the Cincinnati Ballet Company in 1972 (Bizet, 1984).

Carmen de Lavallade with children, Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University

Throughout the collection of photographs in the Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers, researchers might notice de Lavallade’s commitment to a variety of projects, which explains the range with which she performs. From actor to choreographer to dancer to educator, de Lavallade made her way through commercial film, Broadway, Yale Repertory Theater, and the stages of Paris where she danced with Josephine Baker. A series of negatives, slides and photographs show her journey through Southeast Asia as headliner of de Lavallade-Ailey American Dance Theater (1962). Her work with choreographer John Butler is also well-documented, including photographs of the well-loved Portrait of Billie (1960-1992) performed throughout several years.

Carmen de Lavallade and John Butler rehearse Portrait of Billie, and de Lavallade and Alvin Ailey on Southeast Asia tour, Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University

Through photographs, researchers can also see de Lavallade celebrated and celebrating at formal events such as Kennedy Center Honors and the “Divas of the Twentieth Century” award ceremony (1991).  De Lavallade’s life in photographs is rounded out by decades of headshots and documentation of dinners, parties and relationships with friends and family.

Carmen de Lavallade at White House, and with friends, Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University

The photographs shown here represent a fraction of de Lavallade’s early life (circa 1949-1968), but researchers can find photographs in this series from circa 1900-2017. Photographs of Geoffrey Holder’s life and career are also prominent. For research questions, please reach out to rose.library@emory.edu

Finding aid: https://findingaids.library.emory.edu/documents/holder1432/series2/ 

References:

Bizot, Richard (1984). Lester Horton’s Salome, 1934-1953 and after. Dance Research Journal, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 35-40. https://doi.org/10.2307/1478256

Bellino, Damian and Anne Rodeman. 2020 February 20. Carmen de Lavallade [Audio Podcast Episode]. “You Might Know Her From”. https://youmightknowherfrom.libsyn.com/carmen-de-lavallade

New International Version of the Bible. Biblica. https://www.biblica.com/bible/niv/mark/6/

Scripts in the Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers at Rose Library are open for research

By Anicka Austin, Emory University Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, SGA Blog Contributor

Roger Moore had tough shoes to fill when he took over the job of depicting Ian Fleming’s James Bond in 1973’s Live and Let Die. Bond, up until that point, was played by a relatively well received Sean Connery and once by George Lazenby. Another Roger (Ebert) called Moore’s performance humorless, saying “Moore has been supplied with a lot of double entendres and double takes, but he doesn’t seem to get the joke.” (Ebert, 1973) While Moore’s lack of wit may have been a shortcoming, Geoffrey Holder’s scene-stealing portrayal of Baron Samedi held the “convoluted” (Mager, 2001) film together. Holder’s guttural laughter and mischievousness as the loa of the dead gave some weight to vodou themes in the film, as did his choreography.

Holder’s choreographic vocabulary is reflected in several moments in the film. In an opening scene on the fictional Caribbean island, San Monique, an MI-6 field agent named Baines cowers as Dambala dances a snake in front of his face. Behind Dambala, a crowd of people dressed in white step side to side, contracting and releasing their spines in a ritual dance. A revised Live and Let Die script described that same crowd in a later scene:

Ext: VOODOO CEMETARY – NIGHT

Lines of WORSHIPPERS and ACOLYTE GUARDS sway back and forth to the beat of drums, chanting. Oddly-dressed people of all sorts: WOMEN with cigars and bowler hats, MEN with rum kegs smoking root drugs, most wearing strange fetishes and amulets. A large cross-like stake with ropes hanging from it has been erected nearby, exactly in the place where we saw BAINES killed in the pre-title sequence. DAMBALA stands by the stake, takes in the proceedings, looks off as if waiting for something.

Holder’s relationship with Haitian vodou, and particularly with Baron Samedi, permeates through most of his work. His early writings, including Les Mysteres (undated), depict the goings-on of several loas, including Baron Samedi, Erzulie, and Agwe as well as Hector Hippolyte, a Haitian painter and spiritual leader from whom Holder drew inspiration. 

An excerpt from Les Mysteres:

The languid brown hand draws another delicate tracery on the orange earth: the vever of Ogoun. . .God of fire and might, power, authority, triumph, politics, war. Being an honest hero, a real shaker of history, Ogoun wears the sad tortured face of Christ, just unhung from the cross. The martyred warrior hero; his flesh is impervious to wounds but his spirit is not. The sword is sacred to him, the blood color of red, and the flames of burning rum on the earth are his salute. Thunder is the sound of Ogoun announcing that his balls are cold and he demands a drink of rum which he spits through his teeth.

Access to Live and Let Die and Les Mysteres is now available in the Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade papers. Holder and de Lavallade were both heavily involved in and influential to modern theatre, dance, and visual art. Scripts in Holder’s papers include other original writings such as The Odyssey of Anna and the Red Pumps (circa 1991-2002) and Sister Alice in Wonderland (circa 1998-2008). Holder, whose work truly ran the gamut, was also featured in ads for 7-up, as narrator for films like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and as “Chef Geoffrey Lamont” on The Cosby Show (1990). These scripts and more, including several drafts of the Broadway productions The Wiz and Timbuktu, which Holder directed and costume designed, are well represented in the collection.

Researchers interested in learning more can view the finding aid, learn how to request materials from the Rose and contact reference services to make an appointment (rose.library@emory.edu).

References: 

Ebert, Roger. (1973 July 6). Live and Let Die movie review. https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/live-and-let-die-1973

Mager, William (26 July 2001). Live and Let Die. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2001/07/26/live_and_let_die_1973_review.shtml

Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking

By Jill Sweetapple, SGA Blog Contributor

Kyo uchiwa fan, Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking

As archivists, many of us work with paper every day. But how about a museum and archive devoted to paper? The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, on the campus of Georgia Tech, is exactly that. Virginia Howell is the museum’s director, which holds about 100,000 artifacts and 10,000 books. Not all pieces are catalogued; it is an ongoing project, and the collection breaks down into three large categories:
– artifacts, which make up the bulk of the collection, and primarily paper or paper making tools and materials
– the Dard Hunter Library, which contains books about papermaking, Hunter’s works, and related topics such as typefaces and papermaking machinery
– the museum archive, the smallest part of the collection, primarily supporting documents provided by Museum founder Dard Hunter, relevant information from the Institute of Paper Chemistry, and a slide collection of paper artists.

Howell says that one of the biggest challenges is a philosophical question: when is an item an artifact, and when is it archival material?

“A great example of this is the paper sample books in the collection. Over time they have been housed as books in the book room (but they have no text) or as artifacts (but they are more useful due to their content than as an object). When we had only a few identified sample books, it made sense to treat them as artifacts. But when we discovered that there were many, many more sample books than initially thought, we decided to change approach and treat them more like books. But further discussions about possible use and storage needs have resulted in us treating them as a hybrid: they are stored in a single location in the main collections storage, but the descriptions and information about the work is treated more like we catalogue items in the book room.”

Howell and the museum are working on making the collection more accessible in virtual formats. That includes gallery talks and panels, hands-on workshops and virtual exhibits. Additionally, they hope to be able to get more of collections online.

“The pieces in the archive are primarily letters and ephemera, with the exception of the slide collection. Because the collection is so small, we typically include it, catalogue-wise, with the artifacts in the collection. Items have been organized, but many were not entered into Past Perfect, so we are slowly entering into the database and scanning/photographing as we go along.”

You can sign up for an informational email that highlights the workshops they create for all ages, plus my favorite feature, Artifact of the Month. Howell says artifact of the month is a student-run project. April’s feature on a Japanese Kyo uchiwa fan, a fan which does not open, was written by Kayla McManus-Viana:

“Japanese Kyo uchiwa fans are thought to have been developed after similar Korean fans, which were brought to Japan by wakou (pirates) active along the coasts of China and Korea during the 14th century, influenced the designs of the fans used by the Japanese imperial household. However, it was not on the coast but in Kyoto where the design of these Japanese fans was perfected and from where they got their name (“kyo”).”

Classes vary from virtual silk screen printmaking (April 28) to making paper beads. In May, you can make a tunnel book or a stomp rocket. What are those? Visit the Workshops page to find out. Programs are free or low cost. Do not forget their You Tube channel, where you can check out the Paper Animation Fast Film Festival!

You Tube Channel: Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking

Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, Georgia Tech
https://paper.gatech.edu/

Women of Atlanta Collections Now Processed and Available to Researchers

by Kate Daly and Leah Lefkowitz, Visual Culture Archivist and Manuscript Archivist, Atlanta History Center

In June 2020, the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center received funding from a private donor to complete a project to catalog and process over 30 linear feet of archival materials related to Atlanta’s women’s history. Archivists have completed processing several collections, allowing these historically significant materials to be widely available to researchers.

The Atlanta History Center will use these materials, as well as others related to women’s history in our collection, to curate an online exhibition. We are also soliciting new donations from prominent Atlanta women. These materials will facilitate public research and provide support for the Atlanta History Center’s programs and exhibitions.

The following collections have been processed and are now available on the Kenan Research Center’s Finding Aids database (https://ahc.galileo.usg.edu/):

– Atlanta Tomboys documents, MSS 1204, 1917-1926, 1944-1986, undated

This collection contains papers that document the Atlanta Tomboys, an amateur, later semi-professional, women’s basketball and softball team, both organized and coached by Johnny Moon. Included are game schedules, team rosters, promotional materials, and correspondence about sports scholarships and exhibits.

– Atlanta Women’s Chamber of Commerce photographs, VIS 398, 1952-1989

This collection contains images and items related to the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta’s outreach activities and members. Included are photographs, negatives, and slides of annual events and contests, as well as WCC members and officers, meetings, and committees.

– Atlanta Women’s Network records, MSS 710, 1978-1989, undated

This collection contains documents from the Atlanta Women’s Network, an outgrowth of the Feminist Action Alliance, that brings together professional Atlanta women through tools and relationship building. Areas of the organization documented include the Board of Directors, committee creation and work, luncheon and other event planning, and business operations.

– Cathy Woolard papers, 1986-2013, undated

This collection documents the career of Atlanta City Council Woman Cathy Woolard, who was the first openly gay elected official in the position, which she held from 1997 until 2002 Papers include campaign flyers, voter surveys, press clippings of her work, legal paperwork, and administrative binders. The bulk of documentation is planning materials pertaining to the construction of the Atlanta Beltline, such as financial and environmental studies, formal presentations, and outreach magazines and publications.

– Chris Mastin photographs of protest marches, VIS 399, 2017-2018

This collection contains digital images taken by Chris Mastin of the March for Science Atlanta, the Martin Luther King Jr. March and Rally in Atlanta, and the Women’s March on Washington. Photographs in this collection depict protesters holding signs and marching in downtown Atlanta and Washington D.C.

– Emily Bourne Grigsby papers and photographs, MSS 1201, 1943-2004, undated

These collections contain documents and photographs from Emily Bourne Grigsby’s career as an opera singer and model, as well as her time as president of the Atlanta Music Club and her association with the Atlanta Opera Arts Association.

– Florence Inman photographs, VIS 389, 1970-1990, undated

This collection contains photographs of Focal Point Inc.’s awards and recognitions, the staff and workshop, and the moldings they designed and manufactured. Examples of moldings and decorative medallions are shown that were manufactured in the Focal Point workshop, or installed in residences and historic properties.

– Leila Ross Wilburn visual arts materials, VIS 72, 1920-1979

This collection documents the prolific work of one of Atlanta’s pioneer women architects and businesswomen. It is comprised primarily of architectural plans, photographs, negatives, and slides of private residences, multi-family homes, and apartment buildings Wilburn designed during her career.

– Lochrane and Reid family papers, MSS 1203, 1833-1977, undated

This collection contains papers from the Lochrane and Reid family, primarily Sallie Fannie Reid, the funder a Confederate military company during the Civil War and the secretary of the Ladies of Soldiers Relief. The bulk of the collection is correspondence written by Reid

– Lucinda Bunnen photographs, VIS 395, approximately 1976-1978

This collection contains photographs taken for Movers and Shakers in Georgia by Lucinda Bunnen and Frankie Coxe. The collection includes images of notable political, business, cultural, and arts figures between 1976-1978 in Georgia. Also included are photographs of events such as Jimmy Carter’s presidential election, a Decatur Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) planning meeting, the Ramblin’ Raft Race on the Chattahoochee River, an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert in Piedmont Park, Atlanta Braves baseball team opening days, and Isamu Noguchi’s Playscapes opening event in Piedmont Park.

– Maria Helena Dolan papers, MSS 1196, 1970-2007, undated

This collection contains materials collected by Maria Helena Dolan that document her work in LGBTQ+ and feminist organizations, her personal life, events she attended, her work at MARTA, as well her various other interests, including gardening, arts, and travel. Specific causes documented include AIDS awareness and safe sex, domestic violence, civil rights, and LGBTQ+ rights. Organizations represented include Atlanta History Center, Charis Books & More, Pride, ACLU, and Atlanta Lesbian and Gay History Thing, amongst others.

– Roan family papers, MSS 1202, 1913-1971, undated

This collection documents the Roan family, including Margaret Zattau Roan, who was a suffragist, activist, and pioneering music therapist. Suffragist papers consist of telegrams to the Convention League of Women Voters, articles, and documents from the National League of Women Voters

– Yolande Copley Gwin visual arts materials, MSS 1202, 1913-1971, undated

This collection contains illustrations submitted to the society column that Yolande Copley Gwin edited at the Atlanta Journal. Editorial cartoonists featured in the collection include Clifford “Baldy” Baldowski (1917-1999), Lou “Eric” Erickson (1913-1990), Howard Paris (1919-2004), and others.