June 5-16, 2023 is the date for the 2023 Georgia Archives Institute. The Institute will be held at the Georgia Archives, located in Morrow, GA, just outside Atlanta. Classroom instruction will take place the first week, June 5 through June 9 and also on Monday, June 12. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday June 13-15 will be an on-site internship at a local institution, where you can ask all the questions you want and put your classroom instruction to good use. Friday, June 16 will be a wrap-up day, held back at the Georgia Archives.
Pam Hackbart-Dean, Head and Professor, Special Collections & University Archives, Interim Associate University Librarian, University of Illinois Chicago Libraries, will serve as primary instructor. Preservation of Archival Materials will be taught by Tina Seetoo, Preservation Manager at Delta Flight Museum. Born-Digital and Digital Preservation will be taught by Katherine Fisher, Head of Digital Archives, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library, Emory University.
Tuition is $500 and enrollment is limited to 20 students. The application will go live on January 1, 2023 with a deadline of midnight on March 15. There is an application fee of $75, but if your application is not successful, your fee will be refunded.
Submitted by Autumn Johnson, Special Collections Librarian, Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University’s Special Collections recently wrapped up their Georgia Archives Month program, Bland’s Botanical Bequest: An Escape Game for Georgia Archives. This was the third and most successful game-based instructional program the unit has organized over the past few years that highlights the unique resources offered on their campus. The program builds upon the success of their 2019 Secrets, Sources, and Swamp face-to-face escape room and 2021 semi-virtual Case of the College Sweetheart mystery experience. This year, Special Collections took the escape game concept outside of the library and partnered with Georgia Southern’s Botanic Gardens. The program was held in the Botanic Gardens’ historic Bland Cottage, the 1920s homestead of Daniel and Catherine Bland, who donated the cottage and land to the University in the 1980s.
The game, similar to commercially available escape games, placed players together in a situational enviroment where they must solve a series puzzles and clues in order to solve the task at hand. Specifically, players in this game were given 45-minutes to find the Last Will & Testament of Daniel “Dan” Bland, who upon his passing in 1985, bequeathed his estate to the University.
The Bland cottage was transformed back into the 1980s and reflected the wide interests and hobbies of the Bland family. Many of the clues and puzzles encountered throughout the game were based on actual materials belonging to Dan and Catherine Bland including photographs, a hand-drawn map, herbarium press book, historic newspaper articles, and even an oral history recording. Many of these were rediscovered in Special Collections when Gardens staff began to conduct research for an upcoming exhibition!
By encountering these first-hand accounts and original materials from Special Collections, our players were able to piece together the lives of Dan and Catherine Bland, two citizen scientists who contributed greatly to Georgia Southern and the local community. They discovered the Bland family and their vision to inspire generations of lifelong learner through community gardens while learning more about the breadth and depth of resources available to them from Special Collections.
This program was the most successful to date with over 230 participants during the short-run. The program was made available through generous funding from the 2022 Georgia Archives Month Spotlight on Archives Grant. There will be an encore run of the program in Spring 2023 based on unprecedented demand from both University and greater communities!
Hello! My name is Camilla Stegall. I am honored to be the 2022 recipient of the Carroll Hart Scholarship to attend the Georgia Archives Institute.
First, a little about myself. I am 2022 graduate from Kennesaw State University (KSU). I was encouraged by Dr. Jennifer Dickey, the Public History Coordinator at KSU, to apply for the Institute. During my time at KSU, I developed strong relationships with the archivists and had heard about the Society of Georgia Archivists. (It was through them that I learned about SGA and applied for and presented in the Student Research Showcase at the SGA 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting.) I am thankful for the opportunity to attend the Institute as I go on to attend the MSLIS online Leep program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall.
Now to the Institute. The first six days were filled with instruction on foundational archival concepts, including appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation (physical and digital!), reference, copyright, and outreach. Everything that you need to “identify, preserve, and make available” archival materials. Pam Hackbart-Dean, Tina Mason Seetoo, and Katherine Fisher were wonderful primary instructors whose years of experience are evident in their instruction—from their lectures to their class activities to get us thinking about how we would approach challenges and daily tasks in archives.
As mentioned, the lectures were interlaced with group activities and case studies. This was fantastic for me as I am a “hands-on learner!” In these groups, I also learned from my peers. The twenty of us in the cohort came from a variety of backgrounds and locations. I met a community archivist and a university archivist both from California, an English professor from Alabama, a library associate from Missouri, and an archives volunteer from Atlanta along with several fellow early career archivists from Metro Atlanta. The opportunity to visit and work on assignments with members of my cohort with such a wide array of knowledge and experience was fascinating and eye-opening into how different institutions and individuals approach their work.
Additionally, we listened to guest speakers about topics on archival projects and organizations. The guest speakers for 2022 were Tamika Strong of the Georgia Archives about her work creating a community archives of African American funeral programs, Morna Gerrard of Georgia State University (GSU) about GSU’s Women’s / Gender & Sexuality Collections and projects, SGA President Cathy Miller about SGA and the benefits of it and similar organizations, and Joshua Kitchens about Clayton State University’s Master of Archival Studies program and The Academy of Certified Archivists and how to take part in them. These guest speakers contributed to the Institute by showing us poignant examples of individual and institutional projects that benefit communities by preserving and telling their stories. The overview of the archival organizations and professional development on the last day was a great way to end by providing us possible “next steps” as GAI alumni.
2022 was the first time the Institute has been in-person since the pandemic began. As such, we had several educational excursions during our two weeks. The cohort toured the Georgia Archives and learned about its history; on another day we visited the Georgia Archives Conservation Lab, where we met the conservators and watched demonstrations; and, we also toured the GSU Special Collections and Archives before we attended the GAI Reception. At the reception, we had a lovely evening as we mingled with the GAI Board, our internship supervisors, and amongst ourselves.
Week 2 centered on our three-day internships at sites around Metro Atlanta. I, along with two other attendees, interned at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. Our supervisor was Laura Starratt, the Senior Collections Archivist. For our project, we worked with one of Emory’s star collections, the David R. Scott and Anne Lurton Scott papers. David Scott is a retired astronaut and the seventh man to walk on the moon. The collection consisted of materials relating to Scott’s missions and Anne Lurton Scott’s experience as an “astronaut wife.” We processed the printed materials, correspondence, and photographs in the collection (all the while geeking out about NASA). The three of us are honored to have worked on this collection and to make it more accessible to students and researchers. Additionally, during our time at Emory, we toured their conservation lab and archives. We also met with many members of the archives staff and learned about what they do. As I am exploring what facet of archives I want to pursue, I appreciate the time that they spent with us.
Overall, I am grateful for the amazing learning experience that I had during my two weeks at the Georgia Archives Institute. It provided me with a firm foundation of knowledge and insight into the field of archives as I take my next steps to becoming a full-fledged “Georgia Archivist!” Thank you for your support in this endeavor!
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.
Reparative Description from Two Sides: Cataloging and Processing￼
Thursday, June 23, 2022, 12:30-4:00 PM (EST)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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?