Society of Georgia Archivists Tour the Atlanta Preservation Center’s L. P. Grant Mansion

Submitted by Christina Zamon, SGA VP/ Membership Committee Chair

On Saturday, nine members of the Society of Georgia Archivists were treated to a two-hour tour by Atlanta Preservation Center Executive Director David Y. Mitchell. Despite the heat outside, the group enjoyed learning about L.P. Grant, his origins, family, and the history of the oldest existing house in Atlanta. We were able to walk through the windows just as the Grant family did to get out to the cool shade of the porches and porticos, learn how the stucco was made and about the “Grant Park Green” color of the window trim.

Vader, the unofficial mascot of the property also came by to say hello to us.

David made it clear that our work as archivists is essential to the larger role in preserving historic homes and neighborhoods and without us they could not do their important work. After the tour we had a great conversation with lots of questions about the house and the role it has played in the history of Atlanta.

The Society of Georgia Archivists is thankful to David for taking time out of his Saturday to allow us to visit and tour the space. If you missed the tour you can always sign up for one on your own: https://www.atlantapreservationcenter.com/lp_grant_mansion. Thanks also to SGA’s Membership Committee for coordinating such an insightful tour. To learn more about SGA membership and all the benefits it includes visit our website, https://soga.wildapricot.org/membership.

SGA Summer Workshop: Register Now

Reparative Description from Two Sides: Cataloging and Processing

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 12:30-4:00 PM (EST)

Location: Zoom

This workshop is for archivists and special collection librarians who wish to increase their abilities in limiting harmful language in their organization’s finding aids and catalog records through reparative description. This workshop will help archivists and librarians to identify and build upon best practices in description and cataloging to create policy, guidelines, and implement reparative description in their own organizations. Discussion leaders will present on prominent topics and issues, and participants will learn how to approach description, identify authoritative organizations and documentation, and discuss situations with leaders in this work as well other learners through the roundtable discussion.

Instructors: Beth Shoemaker and Tierra Thomas

Moderator: Laura Starratt

Beth Shoemaker is the Rare Book Librarian at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archive & Rare Book Library in Atlanta. Her work includes cataloging, collection development, teaching and curating exhibits in the Emory Libraries. Her research interests include how practicing catalogers approach ethics in the workplace. Since its formation in 2018, she has been co-chair of the Cataloging Ethics Steering Committee, which released a final draft of the Cataloguing Code of Ethics in January 2021. Beth is a graduate of the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Tierra Thomas is an early career archivist living in Decatur, Georgia. She earned her MSLS at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Information and Library Science. As an undergraduate, she studied History and African American Studies at Georgia State University. Most recently she finished her contract term as Visiting Archivist for Southern Jewish Collections at Emory University. She has served as a member of the Anti-Oppressive Language Working Group at Emory University’s Rose Library and the Conscious Editing Steering Committee at UNC-CH’s Wilson Library. Her research focuses on social justice and equity and centering those ideals in an archival setting.

Register here.

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

VSU’s Women’s Suffrage Program Grant brings History to Students

Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections have partnered with the Odum Library and teaching faculty to bring a 5-session book program on Women’s Suffrage to Valdosta, funded from an American Library Association grant. The Archives will be providing meeting space, refreshments, and a display on Women’s Suffrage in Georgia. The “Let’s Talk About It: Women’s Suffrage” project at VSU will kick off on March 10 and continue over a series of 10 weeks, discussing five books.

Learn more from the blog post here: https://www.valdosta.edu/about/news/releases/2022/02/vsu-wins-american-library-association-grant-for-womens-suffrage-project.php .

Submitted by Deborah Davis, Director, Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections

SGA’s Carroll Hart Scholarship Now Accepting Applications

Application deadline: March 8, 2022

The Society of Georgia Archivists is now accepting applications for the Carroll Hart Scholarship to attend the 2022 Georgia Archives Institute. As of now, the Institute will be held in person, from June 6-17, 2022. It will be held in Morrow, GA and is a two week immersive introduction to archival scholarship, with hands-on training and insight from renown archivists.

To learn more and find the application visit our website, https://soga.wildapricot.org/scholarships/hart. Send questions and applications to scholarships@soga.org.


APPLY TODAY!

SGA 2021 Annual Meeting Recordings Available Now

The recordings of the 2021 SGA Annual Meeting are now available to view online! If you were unable to attend the conference live or missed a session you really wanted to attend, we invite you to view the playlist of presentations on SGA’s YouTube.

The presentations are unlisted, so you cannot access them by visiting our page or searching for them on YouTube. They are only viewable through this link, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH2n1apWPCoP98qJads742hVdd2Gt0dXm

While you are on the playlist be sure to subscribe to our channel!

Georgia State University Oral History Symposium Happening September 25

Interested in oral history? Georgia State University is hosting the first ever Oral History Symposium, Uncovering Hidden Narratives, on Saturday, September 25th from 9am to 5pm. The symposium was organized by oral historians from Atlanta History Center, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Emory University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, National Park Service, Oral History Association, Storycorps, University of Georgia, and We Love Buford Highway. The symposium will kick off with keynote speaker Althea Sumpter with her talk centered on trauma in oral histories. Throughout the day attendees can choose sessions that best suit their needs and interests for those that are just beginning or thinking about starting an oral history project to those that are part of established programs. We will wrap up with a meet and greet where attendees can network with other attendees and organizations who support and manage oral history projects.

Maximum capacity for this event is 75 registrants. Masks are strongly encouraged to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Register here.

We need a minimum of 25 registrations by September 10th in order for the program to proceed. All registrants will be notified by September 15th if the event cannot be held as planned and will be reimbursed for their registration costs.

Also, if you are knowledgeable about oral history yourself and would like to help, we are still looking for presenters in these areas:

Intermediate 

People with some experience in oral history (e.g. may have done interviews but may have not coordinated a project). They know what they don’t know. Sessions should present a skill that participants can begin practicing and perfecting. 

  • Funding (grants, Foundations, Federal) 
    • Creating a fundraising plan 

Advanced 

Experienced in oral history. Done many interviews and maybe some projects in the past. Don’t know what they really know (i.e. have lots of oral history practice but not much reflection on the process). Sessions should present a question for discussion. 

  • Beyond the University 
    • Use of oral history in non-academic efforts (e.g. corporate and community) 
    • Combination of academic, corporate, and/or community projects 
    • How much should funders control or have input into project design? 
    • How do you engage both interviewees and stakeholders in a project? 
    • What worked? What didn’t? What should be the takeaway from these efforts? 

Reflections on the 2021 Georgia Archives Institute

by Terri Hatfield, 2021 Carroll Hart Scholarship Recipient

As the 2020 recipient of the Carroll Hart Scholarship, I first want to thank the scholarship committee and the Society of Georgia Archivists for the award and the opportunity to attend the Georgia Archives Institute. What an incredible honor!

I can still remember receiving notice that the 2020 GAI would be cancelled mere weeks after being notified of receiving the scholarship. Though we all had become accustomed to the certain disappointment that came as the COVID-related cancellations and postponements started to pile up last year, this one was particularly hard for me to take. A year later, I was pleased to hear the scholarship had been extended to allow me to attend a virtual version of the Institute in 2021.

I have to admit: I was incredibly intimidated to be there! I have recently completed my MLIS and want to eventually work exclusively in archives, special collections, and public history, and so I desperately wanted to learn more about archives. Furthermore, alongside my primary duties as Program Coordinator for the Institute for Women’s Studies, an academic unit at the University of Georgia, I have also been informally tasked with managing the departmental archives, which include photos, newspaper clippings, memos, letters, flyers, posters, and other ephemera pertaining to the unit since its inception in 1977. So, I also desperately needed to learn more about archives. But I don’t currently officially work in an archive or library. On the first day, as the other attendees shared their backgrounds, anecdotes, and job titles, I worried my experience was too little and too informal to be there.

What made me feel more at ease was hearing many of the guest speakers talk about how the very nature of the ever-changing field of archives means you’re always learning something new, whether it’s a new practice in the field or a new item in your collection you’ve never processed before. So, you might always feel a bit like an ameatur. The key is being open to learning and changing with the field. And that’s why I was there: to learn!

And learn I did. I was impressed with exactly how much GAI was able to fit into a week and a day of courses. It was mentioned that each section of the Institute was approximately a full semester of coursework. I believe it. So much was covered, from selecting, acquiring, and appraising, to accessioning and deaccessioning, to arrangement and description, to copyright, security concerns, reference, instruction and outreach, diversity and inclusion, and more. So much more! Our primary instructor, Pam Hackbart-Dean, was awesome in keeping us focused and on these many tasks, and in managing the Zoom chat, questions, and other distractions. She was knowledgeable and personable and tried to make sure we all felt seen and heard.

From the practical lessons on preservation offered by Tina Mason Seetoo, such as how to remove a staple and how to dry out a dampened book; to the descriptions and explanations of activities and strategies of digital preservation (multiple copies, multiple media types, multiple locations!) provided by Katherine Fisher; to the crucial and invaluable reading and guest lecture on Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppressive Archival Description, the other faculty and guest speakers covered broad and extensive material for students to discover and consider further.

One of my favorite guest lectures was on Community Archives presented by Tamika Strong. What an interesting and important project preserving funeral programs as a way to document people’s lives and narratives! Tamika’s personal interest in and passion for the subject matter, combined with her knowledge of archives and the field, along with the practical breakdown of how the project came together in its various phases, made for a great presentation. I learned so much! Tamika mentioned that the biographies found in funeral programs are sometimes the only biographical information available to tell a person’s life story. This is a perfect example to me of the potential of intentional archival practice. I felt inspired and empowered by this presentation and it reminded me why I want to further pursue this field. Even better is that Tamika has an MLIS and is an alum of GAI – like me! How cool is that!? I hope to find my archival superpower like Tamika has, and be as effective and valuable to the field!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome gift box attendees received during the week. What a pleasant treat! Thank you to the GAI board for the adorable mini Hollinger box that will sit atop my desk at work and of course for all the delicious goodies! While everyone else gushed about the praline (and rightfully so), the peach candies and vidalia onion petals are tied for my favorite! This gesture added a special touch to the experience and created a shared connection to what could have easily been a disconnected virtual cohort.

While I still feel like I have so much to learn, I’m excited to continue reading, doing, and building upon this knowledge base I gained at GAI. Of course I’m disappointed we were unable to do an internship as part of the virtual Institute, but after hearing from so many board members and representatives of archives organizations on the last day wrap-up, the potential for future collaborations or shadowing seems possible. I have already been able to apply some of the things I learned at GAI to my informal archival work in Women’s Studies at UGA and I’m excited to grow in the field.

I would highly recommend applying to attend the Georgia Archives Institute if you can. It’s an incredible and invaluable learning experience and I feel privileged to have been able to participate.