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Archiving the past in Georgia
Hill Jack
Sen. Jack Hill

The Georgia Archives was established in 1918 and was first housed in the State Capitol Building. The Georgia Archives moved to Rhodes Hall in 1930 and then in 1965 to a new building built specifically to house the Georgia Archives. The Georgia Archives moved to its current home, Clayton State University, in Morrow, in 2003 and is officially part of the University System of Georgia. With a purpose to identify, collect and provide access and preservation of Georgia’s historical documents, the archives also serves as a repository of significant collections pertaining to the history of the state. Many collections, such as the Virtual Vault, can be visited from your computer.

Exhibits sponsored by Georgia Archives

In addition to the historical documents, the Georgia archives also houses exhibits, produces a newsletter, and hosts various events, such as the Lunch & Learn Lectures. Currently planned Lunch & Learn topics include, “How Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Influenced Our Christmas Traditions” and the “History of Films in Georgia.” With daily hours from Tuesday - Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except holidays, they are accessible and are able to pull original records until 4 p.m. for those interested.

For additional information and for online access to the digital collections, please visit

Three Georgia Southern professors win awards

In addition to holding historical documents, the Georgia Archives also is steered by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) which was put in statute in 1993. With twelve members appointed by the Governor, GHRAC works to “ensure that Georgians of all ages are made aware of the significant historical records statewide, enhances the preservation and care of these treasures, and improves the access that Georgians have to their records.

GHRAC’s 17th annual Archives Awards were held at the Georgia Archives October 15th to “recognize outstanding efforts in archives and records work in Georgia.” A Local History Advocacy award was presented to Georgia Southern University’s own Robert K. “Bob” Batchelor, Ph. D., Tom Kohler and Susan Earl an award for Waddie Welcome Archive - Savannah Signs. The Waddie Welcome Archive is founded upon a core collection of 750 photographs as well as actual examples of hand-painted public signs from Savannah, Georgia. For more information visit

Other universities also house special collections

In addition to the main archives, many university libraries also support special collections. They range from East Georgia’s Heritage Center and Ehrlich Military History Collection to University of West Georgia’s Special Collections and Speaker Tom Murphy office re-creation and University of Georgia’s Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library. They offer additional records, and in some cases, collections of digital resources and oral histories to maintain the history of the state.

Georgia Southern’s exhibits with a local touch

In addition, many hold additional events and exhibits that are open and available to the public. Georgia Southern University, which is also a Federal Depository Library, maintains a blog with regular updates on available exhibits and events, including the current Exhibit of World War II: America in the Pacific Theater. This specific exhibit is enhanced with the original material of Leodel Coleman, a “native of Statesboro and a local historian for the Bulloch County area. He co-founded the Statesboro Herald, with his two brothers. Coleman served in World War II as a combat correspondent for the Marine Corps. Coleman covered events and stories in the Pacific theater, with most of his deployment spent reporting on the Battle of Guadalcanal. Coleman wrote news articles, purple heart recipient letters, and military wedding promotions that ran in military newspapers.”

To view additional information on events and exhibits at Georgia Southern University, please visit

“Friends of Georgia Archives and History” 

supports state history

Formed in 2004, the Friends of Georgia Archives and History (FOGAH) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports and enhances the programs of the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Capitol Museum. FOGAH sells Christmas ornaments annually, to fund research tools, conservation and educational programs.