Outreach Collaborative Idea: Providing “Real World” Client Experience

This collaboration began in the fall of 2010 and continued through the spring of 2011, with plans to continue due to its success as an experiential learning experience and promotional tool for Special Collections.

Special Collections of Georgia College & State University deems promotion and outreach an important goal as it is more important than ever to validate the significance of archival materials and services, especially during current economic difficulties. To achieve this, collaborations were implemented to provide educational experiences for authentic learning and impactful promotion of the department’s rotating exhibit and special projects. Generally, the department works with history, English, political science and other liberal arts majors. However, a simple conversation brought together an unlikely pairing; Special Collections and a (Marketing/Communications) Publications Design class. 

Special Collections and the class teamed up to create a “real-world” client-based experience. In this collaboration, students learned about the importance of primary source research and the function of archives. Special Collections then tasked the students to design two posters (using the department’s photographs) advertising a future exhibit, “Health Education in Review” and the department’s oral history initiative, “The Legacy Project.” A week after projects were assigned, students presented their proofs to Special Collections staff members who critiqued posters for clarity of information and visual impact. The students then spent two weeks editing their work. Special Collections’ personnel made a final visit to select the two winning poster designs which were showcased on campus and throughout the local area. 

Special Collections would like to thank Professor Macon McGinley for providing the opportunity and enthusiasm for this exciting experience and to congratulate 2011’s two winners, Michele McGuire and Diane Health. McGuire said, “I loved the creative freedom associated with designing a poster for Special Collections’ Legacy Project. As a student, I am sincerely appreciative of the educational opportunity and the recognition of my design as it is showcased around the Milledgeville community.” Heath stated that “the ‘Health Education in Review’ exhibit is full of books and lessons that our alumni were taught. It was interesting to see what information was taught back then to help students stay healthy in every aspect of their lives.”

Please contact Special Collections for further information about the Legacy Project, exhibit, or collaboration by calling (478) 445-0988 or by emailing scinfo@gcsu.edu.

*Contributed by Katherine Pope, Georgia College & State University.

Georgia College Publishes Cartoons of Famed Alumnae Flannery O’Connor

Mary Flannery O’Connor is best known for her 32 short stories and 2 novels, but during her years at Georgia State College for Women (former name of Georgia College & State University) she was the author of many humorous and witty cartoons. Numerous examples of her artwork appeared in the school’s newspaper, literary magazine, and newspaper.

Recently, Georgia College has published a book of the cartoons with the help of Special Collections’ materials and staff. The Cartoons of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College, a 112-page, soft-cover coffee table book, provides the never before assembled and published collection of the author’s cartoons that appeared in four Georgia College publications during her undergraduate years, 1942-45. 

“The humor is silly, even outrageous,” wrote Dr. Sarah Gordon, Georgia College professor emerita of English, in her introduction to the book.  “The same impulse that would later lead Flannery O’Connor to create the sharp-edged and often wickedly funny characters in her fiction drove her popular cartoons (mostly lino-cuts) in her years at GSCW…”

Gordon is the former editor of the Flannery O’Connor Review and former director of the O’Connor Studies Program at Georgia College.

The book includes a foreword by university President Dorothy Leland.

“It is a distinct honor for Georgia College to be the permanent home of the O’Connor Collection, including the cartoons originally published by Georgia State College for Women and now featured for the first time in this book,” Dr. Leland wrote in the foreword. “We are pleased that these cartoons can now reach a broader audience and further enrich Flannery O’Connor scholarship.”

The book cover features a graphic signature that O’Connor used, combining her initials, M, O’C and F (Mary Flannery O’Connor) to create a caricature of a bird.  While some of the cartoons were digitally enhanced for the publication, care was taken not to alter the art.

The cartoons originally appeared in The Colonnade student newspaper, The Spectrum yearbook, The Corinthian literary magazine and the Alumnae Journal.  Also included are cartoons that O’Connor drew earlier for The Peabody Palladium, the student newspaper of Peabody High School in Milledgeville.

The original cartoons are housed in Georgia College Special Collections, as part of its permanent O’Connor Collection, along with thousands of pages of typescripts and manuscripts, photographs, tape recordings, films, letters, memorabilia and her personal library of more than 700 books and journals.

For more information about The Cartoons of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College or about the Flannery O’Connor collection, please contact Special Collections at scinfo@gcsu.edu.

*Contributed by Katherine Pope, Special Collections, Georgia State College & University. Image used with permission.