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.