Digital Library of Georgia Announces Subgrants to Support Projects up to $7500

To broaden partner participation in the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG), DLG is soliciting proposals for historic digitization projects costing up to $7500 from non-profit Georgia cultural heritage institutions. Applicant organizations must be open to the public, and their collections must be available for public research either by appointment or through regular hours. Project metadata will be included in the DLG portal and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Projects may include the reformatting of textual materials (not including newspapers), graphic materials, or audio-visual materials. Applicants should have materials prepared for a project start date of January 1, 2021.

Selection of materials or collections to digitize will be made in accordance with the DLG’s Collection Development Policy and will depend on the availability of resources and funding. Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of proposal–Project scope and responsibilities should be well-defined.
  • Diversity–Materials that represent the cultural, political, social, geographic, and/or economic diversity of the state of Georgia will be given priority.
  • Reusability–Materials should be free of legal restrictions or have permissions granted by the copyright holder. Preference is given to materials that are freely available or available for free reuse for either educational or non-commercial uses.
  • Historic value–Materials should have high research, artifactual, or evidential value and/or be of particular interest to multiple audiences.
  • Added value through digitization–Materials for which access will be substantially improved by digitization or which have a high potential for added value in the digital environment through linkages to existing digitized content will be given priority.
  • Capacity building–Preference will be given to organizations who have not yet collaborated with the DLG and/or those with limited digitization resources or experience.

A committee consisting of DLG, Georgia HomePLACE, Georgia Humanities Council, and Georgia Council for the Arts staff and representatives of GHRAC and the DLG partner community will determine awards. Awards committee members will recuse themselves from review of a proposal should a conflict of interest exist.

For textual and graphic materials, digitization and descriptive services will be performed by DLG staff. In the case of audio-visual collections, digitization will be outsourced to a vendor. Partners are responsible for transporting materials to and from the DLG or for costs associated with shipping to and from vendors.

Nominated materials must have clear rights statements and documentation. Any metadata created will be shared under a Creative Commons License Public Domain License (CC0), through the DLG’s portal and the DPLA.

To apply, submit a 2 MB or smaller zip file of the following to our proposal submission form (you will need a gmail account) by October 1, 2020:

  • Application form;
  • One letter of reference from a previous user of the materials describing their historic value and potential for reuse by multiple audiences;
  • Five samples of selected content;
  • A budget that includes conversion costs, metadata services, and hosting fees based on the DLG Digital Services Cost Recovery for Proposal Development and using the application budget form; and
  • If requesting DLG hosting, proof of rights status for materials (e.g., letter of permissions from copyright holder, donor’s agreement, orphan works status assessment, release form, etc.).

Important dates

Sample applications, reviewer materials, and information about past recipients and their projects are all available at https://sites.google.com/view/dlg-docs/dlg-documentation/dlg-subgranting-program.

Digitization of Materials Documenting the Beginning of Peachtree City, Georgia Now Available Online

WRITER: Mandy Mastrovita, mastrovi@uga.edu, 706-583-0209

CONTACT: Sheila McAlister, mcalists@uga.edu, 706-542-5418

ATHENS, Ga. — Digitization of materials documenting the beginning of Peachtree City, Georgia are now available freely online.

New online records that describe the history of Peachtree City, Georgia, one of the country’s most successful post-World War II “new towns,” are now available for researchers in the Digital Library of Georgia. The collection, Peachtree City: Plans, Politics, and People, “New Town” Beginnings and How the “New Town” Grew, is available at dlg.usg.edu/collection/frrls-pt_newtown and contains prospectuses, master plans, maps, conceptual drawings, newsletters, and administrative records dating from the 1950s to 2007.

Rebecca Watts, the librarian for the Joel Cowan History Room at Peachtree City Library, describes the importance of these resources: 

“These materials will provide land planners, city planners, and those interested in how a city like Peachtree City came to be, with insight on its beginnings and early history, when the city was devoted to slow growth in an effort to keep a balance between industry, residential, and community amenities.”

Ellen Ulken, the co-author of Peachtree City: Images of America (Arcadia Publishing, 2009) notes: “I found the city’s early newsletters invaluable for tracking down stories, photos of people, issues, and progress of the early 1970s…I feel certain that the next person to come along and write a history of Peachtree City will be glad if this material is available and findable online. The digital format would ensure a long life for these newsletters.”

Link to featured images:

Peachtree City promotional map [Map 2]

peachtree-city.org/DocumentCenter/View/16664/ptc05

Description: A later version of a larger 1974 Peachtree City, Georgia, promotional map (see peachtree-city.org/DocumentCenter/View/16684/ptc26), which highlights 24 named businesses, this map also prominently shows Lake McIntosh with a label indicating “under construction” rather than the more specific “opening in 1974” of the earlier map.

The lake was not completed until December 2012. Other notable changes to this map are that the “Ryland Model Home Park” is now shown east of Highway 74 on the south side of Highway 54 in the area of Hunter’s Glen subdivision (not named as such on the map). Also, the Information Center has moved to Aberdeen Center on the north side of Highway 54 near the center of town, not far from its previous location.

What had been “Peachtree City Realty” on the earlier map is now renamed “Garden Cities Reality [sic],” which was formed in December 1974.

Happen: Peachtree City updated newsletter for 1974

peachtree-city.org/DocumentCenter/View/16655/ptc04-74

Description:

Happen: Peachtree City updated newsletter. Volume 3, issue 1, January 1974. Appeal letter signed by leaders of both Kiwanis and Rotary clubs to support the school referendum. Peachtree City police: Haskell Barber, Chief, Bob Mathis, John Hay, Fred Cox, Orval Harris, Richard Andrews, J.B. Wright. Greg and Nancy Pearre purchase a 1973 Volkswagen bus to provide carpool service for Peachtree Citians to commute to Atlanta. Lutheran Church being organized.

(attachments to this email: frrls-pt_newtown_ptc04-74, frrls-pt_newtown_ptc05)

About Peachtree City Library

The Peachtree City Library serves the residents of Peachtree City, Georgia with adult programs, children’s programs, and is a proud member of the PINES Library Consortium. Learn more at their web site, peachtree-city.org/125/Library.

About the Digital Library of Georgia Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project. Visit the DLG at dlg.usg.edu.

GEORGIA HISTORICAL RECORDS ADVISORY COUNCIL SOLICITS SUB-GRANT APPLICATIONS

The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) seeks to enrich the culture and protect the rights of Georgians by fostering activities that identify, preserve, and provide access to the State’s documentary heritage. Using funds awarded to the University of Georgia Libraries and the Georgia Archives by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), GHRAC is offering grants of $2,500 to $5,000 to local historical repositories in Georgia to develop and/or implement projects to identify, preserve, and provide access to historical records. Any size local historical repository with permanently valuable archival materials may apply.


Applications must be submitted by September 14, 2020. The 2020 GHRAC Historical Records Grants
Application guidelines can be found at https://www.georgiaarchives.org/ghrac.


A historical repository is defined as a non-profit or government organization/institution that houses, preserves, and provides access to historical documents on a regularly scheduled basis. This may be a local government, historical society, library, museum, or similar organization. The archival collections of the applying institution must be available, without charge, to the public on a regularly scheduled basis. Recipients of grant awards must provide a minimum one-to-ten ($1 for $10) match of grant funds requested. The match may be met through cash and or in-kind contributions. Greater than one-to-ten matches are encouraged, but not required.


If the applicant is a local government, it must provide proof of compliance with OCGA § 50-18-99 by
supplying a records management resolution/ordinance and the name of the records management officer. If the organization does not have a records management resolution, development and passage of this resolution must be included in the project’s description and completed by the end of the grant period. Grant requests should be between $2,500 and $5,000 for local governments and non-profit repositories in Georgia to develop and/or implement projects to identify, preserve, and provide access to historical records. There is a total of $34,000 available for these grants.


Questions about the grant application process or project administration may be sent to Christopher M.
Davidson, J.D., University System of Georgia Assistant Vice-Chancellor/State Archivist, Georgia Archives at christopher.davidson@usg.edu.


Eligible projects must identify, organize, and/or improve access to historical records. Eligible expenditures include shelving; archival file folders and/or boxes; dehumidifiers; humidifiers; analog monitors; photo sleeves; HEPA vacuum cleaners; hiring consultants to identify needs and priorities for improving the organization, description, preservation and access to collections; contracting services such as reproduction services; etc.

Eligible activities include rehousing collections, adding collections to an online catalog, scanning collections, or creating an online database or websites designed to support access to researchers (e.g., online catalogs, finding aids, and digitized collections, rather than curated web exhibits), etc.


Complete applications, which include all requested information, will be reviewed by a GHRAC committee which will submit its recommendations to GHRAC for approval.  Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with some preference given to underserved communities.  Applicants will be notified of GHRAC’s decisions by October 1, 2020.  Grant recipients will receive a grant acceptance agreement, which should be signed and returned by December 1, 2020.  All grant recipients must complete and sign an agreement with the University System of Georgia before beginning a grant project. Grant projects can begin once the grantee receives the signed and executed contract.  Final invoices for grant reimbursements should be submitted by recipient entities by April 15, 2021.


In determining whether an applicant shall receive a grant, some of the criteria that GHRAC will consider are the following: Does the project identify, preserve and/or make accessible records significant to Georgia’s history? Does the project utilize sound archival practices? Are the proposed activities and expenditures appropriate and cost effective? Does the proposal adhere to grant project application requirements and does it contain sufficient information for GHRAC decision-making? Is the financial information submitted realistic and accurate? In general, is the application meeting the mission, goals, and objectives of GHRAC?


All grants are contingent on funding by NHPRC.

Georgia Archives Spring Book and Paper Conservation Workshops

RESCHEDULED DATES

Spring Book and Paper Conservation/Preservation Workshop Series

The Georgia Archives Conservation Department together with the Big River Bindery are excited to re-open registration for the previously postponed 3-day workshops on the conservation and preservation of books and paper artifacts:

  • Introduction to Paper Conservation – August 7 – 9 ($350)
  • Book Conservation for Circulating and Reference Collections – August 21 – 23 ($350)

These workshops are for anyone who works in cultural heritage institutions, libraries, museums,
galleries, or just has an interest in learning on how to best look after their own objects. The workshops are set at a foundational level and no prior experience or training is required. Join us to gain a greater understanding of book and paper conservation/preservation and how to best look after your treasures!


Registration fees include all materials, and lunch and snacks will be provided.
Location: Georgia Archives, Morrow, GA (Greater Atlanta)
For more information and to register: http://www.cvent.com/d/8hqvbq.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are implementing additional health and safety measures to protect the workshop attendees and staff. These include:

  • Reducing the maximum workshop capacity to 10 people to ensure a 6-foot distance between persons and individual work areas.
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfection of all the workshop spaces and surfaces.
  • Limiting sharing of work areas to an absolute minimum and cleaning the surfaces between use.
  • Requesting attendees to bring and wear face masks for the duration of the workshop.
  • Requiring all workshop staff and assistants to follow CDC hygiene and social distancing guidelines and to wear face masks.
  • Requiring hand washing upon entry for all persons.
  • Providing individual pre-packaged lunches and snacks.
  • Including video projection for demonstrations.
  • Prohibiting sharing of tools and materials.
  • Prohibiting non-workshop persons access to the workshop areas.
  • Require staff and attendees to complete a COVID-19 screening form before the workshop.
  • Daily temperature checks upon entry for all persons.

If you have any questions or concerns about the workshop and/or the health and safety measures
please contact Sigourney Smuts at sigourney.smuts@usg.edu. If you require any additional measures to be implemented, we will gladly work with you to ensure you feel safe and comfortable to attend.

Georgia Archives Programs and Education Resources

The Georgia Archives’ offers resources available on the Program and Education page of the Archives’ website. “Programs” is located under the “visit” tab on the navigation bar. Posted here is the video of the Georgia Archives’ virtual Lunch and Learn program Discovering Your Georgia Roots Using the Virtual Vault presented by Reference Archivist Tamika Strong. On this video, Strong explores genealogy resources available on the Virtual Vault. Included on the site to compliment the presentation are several handouts: How to use the Virtual Vault and instructions, presentation slides, and a Virtual Vault scavenger hunt.

The Lunch and Learn video can also be viewed on the YouTube channel “Georgia Archives.”

On the Program and Education page are also handouts and PowerPoints on genealogy, slave laws, and family research. You can view curated digitally accessible exhibits showcasing resources at the Georgia Archives. Exhibits illustrate subjects in Georgia history with primary sources and include useful information for the family history researcher.

Look for future additions to the Program and Education page.

If you have any questions, please email Georgia Archives Education Specialist Penny Cliff at penelope.cliff@usg.edu.

The Georgia Archives is a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The Georgia Archives identifies, collects, manages, preserves, provides access to, and publicizes records and information of Georgia and its people, and assists state and local government agencies with their records management. This work is done within the framework of the USG’s mission to create a more highly educated Georgia.

130 Years of Atlanta Area African American Funeral Programs Now Freely Available Online

Over 130 Years of Atlanta Area African American Funeral Programs Now Freely Available Online

Georgia’s public libraries and their partners continue to make new content freely available online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Newly digitized African American funeral programs are a boon to remote researchers, genealogists, and learners of all ages.

ATLANTA– Over 11,500 pages of digitized African American funeral programs from Atlanta and the Southeast are now freely available in the Digital Library of Georgia. The digital collection of 3,348 individual programs dates between 1886-2019 and contains contributions from the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, a special library of the Fulton County Library System; the Wesley Chapel Genealogy Group; and the Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Digitization was funded by Georgia HomePLACE, a program of the Georgia Public Library Service. 

“Funerals are such an important space for African Americans, said Auburn Avenue Research Library archivist and lead project contributor Derek Mosley. “The tradition of funerals is not reserved for the wealthy or privileged, but the community. It is that lasting document of someone’s life. In the program is the history and throughout this collection you see the evolution of the stories people left for future generations. I was amazed at the one pagers from the 1940’s, and by the 2000’s there was full color, multiple pages, and a ton of photographs highlighting the life and love shared by the families. This collection is public space for legacy.”

Funeral programs provide valuable social and genealogical information, typically including a photograph of the deceased, an obituary, a list of surviving relatives, and the order of service. Some programs provide more extensive details about the deceased, such as birth and death dates, maiden names, past residences, and place of burial. This data that can otherwise be hard to find, particularly for marginalized populations. Records of these communities were often either destroyed, kept in private hands, or never created in the first place.

“The challenge for African American genealogy and family research continues to be the lack of free access to historical information that can enable us to tell the stories of those who have come before us,” said Tammy Ozier, president of the Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. “This monumental collection helps to close this gap, allowing family researchers to get closer to their clans, especially those in the metro Atlanta area, the state of Georgia, and even those outside of the state.”

The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History  began collecting funeral programs in 1994 with an initial donation by library staff. Since then, staff and the public have continued to add to the collection with a focus on the city of Atlanta. Although the materials have been physically open for research for decades, they can now be accessed beyond the library’s walls. In 2012, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society  Atlanta Chapter began its funeral program collection project in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History and the Wesley Chapel Genealogy Group.

Fulton County Library System Director Gayle Holloman said, “Funerals are filled, of course, with moments that allow expressions of great sorrow. However, for so many, especially in black communities, the funeral program is the written and preserved benediction to a life lived. It is my hope that the understanding of that fact will be treasured for generations to come.” 

Funeral programs are still being accepted by both organizations; to contribute to either collection, contact the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History or the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society  Atlanta Chapter at the links below.

####

Georgia HomePLACE encourages public libraries and related institutions across the state to participate in the Digital Library of Georgia, and offers a highly collaborative model for digitizing primary source collections related to local history and genealogy. HomePLACE is a project of the Georgia Public Library Service, a unit of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. HomePLACE is supported with federal Library Services and Technology Act funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Georgia Public Library Service.

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. The Digital Library of Georgia also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project.

Anchoring the west end of the Sweet Auburn historic district, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History opened May 1994 in Atlanta. A special library of the Fulton County Library System (formerly the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System), it is the first public library in the Southeast to offer specialized reference and archival collections dedicated to the study and research of African American culture and history and of other peoples of African descent.

The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., Metro Atlanta Chapter was established in February 2000. It is one of 39 chapters of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc., a national non-profit membership organization of diverse membership committed to the preservation of the history, genealogy and culture of African-ancestored populations of the local, national and international communities.

Created in 2007 in response to a strong interest in genealogy in South DeKalb County, the Wesley Chapel Genealogy Group is a monthly discussion group that strives to support attendees in their genealogical endeavor.  Expanding its roots from its home base at the Wesley Chapel Library, the group has served the DeKalb County Public Library and the communities it serves by providing several genealogy workshops in the hopes of helping others trace their familial roots. The funeral program project is one of its most successful endeavors to date.

Selected images from the collections:

·  Homegoing Celebration for Deacon James Climmie Barber, Sr. “Jack”, October 23, 1917- August 9, 2000. Monday, August 14, 2000, 1:00 P.M., Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 469 Mt. Olive Road, Stockbridge, Georgia 30281, The Reverend Doctor Hopie Strickland, Jr., Pastor & Eulogist

·  Funeral Services for Mrs. Julia Burton, 1:00 P.M., June 26, 1967, West Mitchell Street C.M.E. Church, 575 Mitchell Street, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia, Rev. E.H. Hicks, Pastor

·  Funeral Services for Mr. Stanley Maddox, Second Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Markham Street at Northside Drive, Monday, June 1, 1970, 2:00 P.M., George W. Baker, Officiating

·  Homegoing Services for Mrs. Susie Gibson McIver, Wednesday, July 7, 1993, 11:00 A.M., Turner Monumental A.M.E. Church, 66 Howard Street, Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia, The Reverend S.W. Wicker, Pastor, Officiating

·  Celebration of Life, Ollisteen “Steen” Davis King Miles, August 20-1946- March 29, 2017

SGA Board Approves Salary Transparency Statement

Statement from the SGA Board of Directors

Atlanta, Ga.– On April 20, 2020, the Society of Georgia Archivists’ Board of Directors voted to endorse the Society of American Archivists’ Ad-Hoc Salary Transparency Working Group’s open letter to the SAA Council in favor of a salary transparency policy.  As of June 1, 2020, the Society of Georgia Archivists will no longer post professional opportunities (part-time/temporary jobs, full-time/permanent jobs, or internships) that do not include salary information through any of its organizational communication channels. We will also not accept postings for unpaid internships. 
SGA is taking this step for several reasons: 

  • Multiple surveys of the broader GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) field specifically have affirmed that lack of transparency regarding salaries and earnings expectations is a significant concern for professionals at all stages of their careers. 
  • Several other professional organizations such as AMIA, Northwest Archivists, and Society of Southwest Archivists have changed their policies on job postings to dissuade employers from posting jobs without salary information or unpaid internships.  
  • Recently a group of archivists have included recommendations for active steps to promote salary transparency and advocate for fair wages and hiring practices in our field. In this respect, we are also acting alongside other professional organizations including the Society of American Archivists, American Library Association, and regional archives associations. 

This will mean some open positions available in our field will not be posted on the SGA website or through our other organizational communication channels. 
We believe this step is justified. By keeping salary information secret, employers obscure structural inequalities and enable them to persist. Without salary information, it becomes harder to make the case that one is experiencing pay discrimination. Job postings with undisclosed salary information are a drain on everyone’s resources, wasting both the employer’s and the interviewee’s valuable time and money, even as candidates may not be able to work for the salary offered.
As with salary transparency, a wealth of recent research and reports from the field emphasize the ways in which reliance on unpaid labor in the form of internships further perpetuates systemic inequities and economic injustice, and devalues the skilled labor  performed in archival institutions and collections. 
In restricting employment postings to paid positions only, the Society of Georgia Archivists stands with archival workers to increase the visibility and accessibility of paid professional experiences for students and work for professionals at all career stages.

Related Resources

  • SAA Update: Advocating for archivist pay, view here
  • Business Archives Section (BAS) Salary Requirement Survey, view here
  • Endorsement of a living wage for all library employees and a minimum salary for professional librarians, view here
  • Things that must be talked about, view here.
  • Salary information now required in job postings.
  • Northwest Archivists Policy for Accepting Job Postings, view here.
  • Wages for intern work: De-Normalizing unpaid positions in libraries and archives, view here.

This policy is based on AMIA’s “Board Position Statement on Salary Transparency.”  View the SGA Board’s full statement here.

SGA Endorses the SAA Council’s Statement on Black Lives and Archives

On June 4, 2020, the SGA Board voted unanimously to endorse the SAA Council’s Statement on Black Lives and Archives, and voiced its unequivocal opposition to the harassment, violence, and neglect of Black and brown communities

It is now up to each of us to continue the much harder work of putting this statement into action. As archivists, we reckon with history deeply and often, and we acknowledge the existence and particular U.S. legacy of structural racism, white supremacy, militarism, gatekeeping, and institutional power. We also recognize moments of grace, collective uprising, community solidarity, cultural exchange, and the power of transformative justice. 

As we are each called to consider our spheres of influence and how within them we might effect change, I would also ask you to consider ways SGA might change, too. Your Board is in the process of identifying short-term internal and external actions we can take, as well as finalizing a proactive strategic plan for the longer term. We will be coming to you with questions that will help inform our priorities for future action, and we hope you’ll consider providing your thoughtful feedback.

As always, your Board members are here for your concerns, questions, and ideas. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us at any point if there is something you’d like to discuss.

Wishing each of you and your families safety, health, and peace.

Georgia Archives Virtual Lunch and Learn: Discovering Your Georgia Roots Using the Virtual Vault

Discovering Your Georgia Roots
Using the Virtual Vault
June 2020 Virtual Lunch and Learn
On Friday, June 12, 2020, noon-1:00 p.m., the Georgia Archives’ first virtual Lunch and Learn program will be available to the public. Discovering Your Georgia Roots Using the Virtual Vaultwill be presented by Reference Archivist Tamika Strong. 
The goals for the presentation are to discuss and explore resources that can be utilized to trace family roots in Georgia and share the methodology and research tips to locate records in the Virtual Vault.
The Georgia Archives’ Virtual Vault is a portal to some of Georgia’s most important historical documents, from 1733 to the present. The Vault provides virtual access to historic Georgia manuscripts, photographs, maps, and government records housed at the Archives.
The live event is hosted through Microsoft Teams. Use browsers Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer 11. If you plan on using an iPhone or tablet, you may have to download the Microsoft Teams app. Click on Join Live Event to join the Lunch and Learn.
If you have any questions, please email Georgia Archives Education Specialist Penny Cliff at penelope.cliff@usg.edu.
Lunch and Learn Programs are free and open to the public and are sponsored by Friends of Georgia Archives and History (FOGAH). 

Church Record Book from Harris County Covering the Years 1828-1915 now Available Online in the Digital Library of Georgia

WRITER: Mandy Mastrovita, mastrovi@uga.edu, 706-583-0209
CONTACT: Sheila McAlister, mcalists@uga.edu, 706-542-5418
ATHENS, Ga. — Church record book from Harris County covering the years 1828-1915 now available online in the Digital Library of Georgia.
 
 
A record book covering the years between 1828-1915 of the Sardis Church of Christ is now available in the Digital Library of Georgia. The Sardis Church of Christ, associated with the Primitive Baptist Church, was one of the first churches to be established in Harris County, in west-central Georgia. This resource belongs to the Chipley Historical Center of Pine Mountain, Georgia, and has been made available online thanks in part to the DLG’s Competitive Digitization grant program, a funding opportunity intended to broaden DLG partner participation for statewide historic digitization projects.
The record book and descriptive information are available at:
Harris County was established in 1827, carved from Muscogee and Troup Counties, and from lands ceded by the Creek Nation in the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs, and reaffirmed in the 1826 Treaty of Washington. A year later, in 1828, the Sardis Church of Christ was formed.
For the most part, the Sardis Baptist Church of Christ records follow a predictable format of when a meeting was held, who preached at the meeting, and that an invitation was given. The records also contain names of those that joined by declaration or by letter, and those that left by their own choice.
The Sardis Church also had African American members. Before the Civil War, these members are often listed only by their first names and are often denoted as “property of,” indicating their status as enslaved individuals. After the Civil War, the notations change to “colored” or sometimes “freedman” and their last name was often included. However, no matter what race, the Church always referred to a member as Brother or Sister.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the church minutes in the record book become shorter and shorter for each meeting, and membership declines. This is probably due to the establishment of other churches nearby and the increased reliability of roads and transportation.
Although the Sardis church no longer exists, the church record book is a valuable tool for both those researching Primitive Baptists in regions other than the wiregrass region of Georgia or for those researching very early Georgia churches.
Malinda Brooks, a member of the board of directors of the Chipley Historical Center, notes:
“Personally, I have used the Sardis minutes in preparation of two published family genealogy books…Researchers are excited to find out when their family members entered and exited the Sardis membership, including the death dates of some members. These death dates, especially those that have not been found elsewhere, are treasures to researchers. Most recently, a woman researching her family for her Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) membership application was able to find ancestors in the Sardis record book which helped strengthen her DAR research, especially given that the DAR was unable to track the correct ancestor.”
Featured image:
Title: Record book of the Sardis Church of Christ
(attachment: chipley_scc_sard_Page_005.jpg)
About the Chipley Historical Center of Pine Mountain

The Chipley Historical Center is located in Pine Mountain, Georgia next to City Hall in the original city hall building, built just after the turn of the twentieth century, and still contains the original jail cells. Learn more at the Chipley Historical Center’s web site at chipleyhistoriccenter.org.
About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project. Visit the DLG at dlg.usg.edu.