SGA Scholarship Winner attends Georgia Archives Institute

Submitted by Camilla Stegall

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! 

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/ .

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.

Quarterly Update from SGA President, Cathy Miller

Greetings SGA members! I wanted to take this opportunity to communicate to you all about what the SGA Board has been doing in the first few months of 2022. We’ve had our fair share of Google Workspace related issues, one of which resulted in emails that were meant to go only to the SGA Board being directed to all SGA members. The Board worked diligently to communicate to the membership via the listserv about this issue. Thankfully, whatever the problem was evidently remedied itself and you are all saved from receiving emails related to votes on administrative handbook changes.

Big news to come out from January to April is that SGA no longer has a P.O. Box address! The P.O. Box has historically caused issues for the Board and upset the flow of certain operations. In place of the P.O. Box, the SGA Treasurer will be assuming the responsibility of having mail directed to their home address or opening a temporary P.O. Box for the term in which they serve as treasurer. The Board hopes that this new approach to mailing results in less issues overall with receiving checks in a timely manner. Information regarding the current treasurer’s mailing address has been communicated to members via the SGA listserv. You can also email Josh Kitchens, our treasurer, at treasurer@soga.org and he can provide you with the current mailing address. 

In other news, the call for proposals for the annual meeting this October has been announced by the Annual Meeting Program Committee. I encourage you all to review the CFP and consider submitting a session or poster proposal. For our student members, I encourage you to consider a poster or paper/presentation submission. Last year we held our first student research showcase. It would be wonderful to be able to again highlight the work of up-and-coming professionals in the information science field. The Program Committee has created a Google spreadsheet to connect individuals seeking ideas and/or collaborators for session and poster proposals. While the spreadsheet is not monitored by SGA or the Program Committee and is not part of the official submission process, it can be a quick way to share session ideas and connect interested parties. I encourage you to add your session proposal ideas to the aforementioned spreadsheet. 

Thanks to SGA members’ feedback, the Board is also proceeding to work with the Georgia Library Association (GLA) to discuss the potential for planning a joint conference in 2023 or 2024. As planning talks with GLA become more concrete, I can assure you that pertinent information will be communicated to members accordingly. 

Also, a big thank you to those members who acted on the advocacy call that came out in early April regarding House Bill 1084. Since that advocacy call, the bill was passed by the Georgia Senate and recently signed into law by Governor Kemp. The Board is currently discussing the formation of a statement to be released regarding this action. 

That hits the highlights as to current work of the SGA Board that members might find of interest. Board members will continue to keep you apprised of upcoming activities via the listserv, so stay tuned! And as always, thank you for your continued support and commitment to SGA.

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!