Civil rights-era issues of Savannah’s leading African American newspaper, the Savannah Tribune, are now available freely online

The Digital Library of Georgia, in partnership with Live Oak Public Libraries, has made the Savannah Tribune (1943 to 1960) available for viewing at the Georgia Historic Newspapers website. The site provides access to these newspapers with full-text searching, browsing by date and title, and is compatible with all current browsers. The newspaper page images can be viewed without the use of plug-ins or additional software downloads. The archive is free and open for public use.

Funding for the digitization of this title was provided by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council with funds awarded to the University of Georgia Libraries and the Georgia Archives by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Founded as the Colored Tribune in 1875 and renamed the Savannah Tribune in 1876, the newspaper has served as one of the longest-running African American publications in the South, with a mission “to promote the cause of education, cooperating with all teachers and workers in that cause, and the moral and material advancement of the colored people.” Reporting from Reconstruction through Jim Crow, the paper featured famed Harlem Renaissance writer James Weldon Johnson as a correspondent from the 1920s to the late 1930s and played an instrumental role in the boycott movement that began in the early 20th century and fueled the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1960s. To this day, the Savannah Tribune stands as one of the most prominent African American newspapers in the country as it continues to serve Chatham County’s African American community. 

Belle Reynoso, the director of information technology, and Linda Bridges, the genealogy/reference librarian at Live Oak Public Libraries say: “We chose the Savannah Tribune because it’s one of Savannah’s most important African American historical resources. The first edition of the paper, which was called the Colored Tribune, was first published in 1875. It was not published from 1878 to 1886 or from 1960 to 1973. The issues chosen for digitization, October 1943 to September 1960, include much of the developing Civil Rights Movement in Georgia and beyond.

View the entire digitized run of the Savannah Tribune

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About the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC)

The Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) promotes the educational use of Georgia’s documentary heritage by all its citizens, evaluates and improves the condition of records, encourages statewide planning for preservation and access to Georgia’s historical records, and advises the Board of Regents and the Georgia Archives on issues concerning records. 

Learn more at georgiaarchives.org/ghrac.

About the Live Oak Public Libraries

Established in 1903, the Live Oak Public Libraries are a consortium of sixteen public libraries in the Savannah and the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan areas of Georgia. These libraries provide excellent, responsive services for residents of Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties, and develop programming that enriches people’s lives, supports lifelong learning, and builds and enhances their communities. 

Learn more at liveoakpl.org/about/mission

About the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States.

Learn more at archives.gov/nhprc/about

Selected images from the collection: 

Image courtesy of Georgia Historic Newspapers
Title : Savannah Tribune, May 20, 1954, page 1
URL : https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn84020323/1954-05-20/ed-1/seq-1/
Description: The May 20, 1954 front page of the Savannah Tribune reported on the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that ruled the segregation of public schools in the United States unconstitutional.
Image Courtesy of Georgia Historic Newspapers
Title : Savannah Tribune, May 25, 1957, page 1
URL : https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn84020323/1957-05-25/ed-1/seq-1/
Description: The headline of the May 25, 1957 issue of the Savannah Tribune detailed the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The event closed with Martin Luther King Jr.’s famed “I Have a Dream” speech.
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Two mid-twentieth-century collections, now digitized and available freely online, recall Atlanta neighborhoods lost to urban renewal, and Georgia’s growing Catholic community

Two new collections of digitized films and slides documenting the growth of Georgia’s Catholic community between 1938-1979 are now available freely online from the Digital Library of Georgia.

With these materials from Marist School educators Reverend Michael Kerwick, SM,  (1912-1990) and Reverend Vincent Brennan, SM, (1912-1993), we are able to piece together the history of the Marist School’s campus, community, and activities at its former location (as Marist College) in downtown Atlanta and its Brookhaven home (as Marist School) on Ashford-Dunwoody Road in DeKalb County. 

The time periods of Father Kerwick’s and Father Brennan’s collections coincide with the exponential growth of the city’s Catholic community. During the mid-20th century, Atlanta claimed 30,000 Catholic residents. By the end of the century, that number grew to nearly 300,000. 

These materials also show portions of downtown Atlanta that were lost through development in the 1950s and early 1960s. A major reason for Marist School’s relocation to suburban Brookhaven was the encroaching development of the interstate system and the use of eminent domain to acquire portions of the original campus. Scenes from the original campus and downtown street scenes have captured buildings and streetscapes that were lost to urban renewal.

Dr. Michael Bieze and Dr. Louisa Moffitt, archivists at the Marist School say: “The [digitized] images were taken by Father Vincent Brennan during those years before Marist School was moved to its suburban location in the mid-1960s and includes image from both the old campus on Ivy Street, as well as images of the new campus on Ashford-Dunwoody Road.” 

Some additional themes covered in these collections include school commencements, athletics programs, formal events such as promenades, and visits to Marist parishes throughout Georgia. Dr. Bieze and Dr. Moffitt both add: “In addition, there are images of Brunswick, Saint Simons Island, Darien, and Jekyll Island during those years.”

View the Reverend Michael Kerwick, SM, Film Collection online 
View the Reverend Vincent Brennan, SM, Papers Collection online 

About the Archives of the Society of Mary, Province of the United States  

The mission of the archives is to collect, preserve, and make available manuscripts, records, photographs, audiovisual materials, artifacts, books, and other items that document the ministries, houses, and personnel of the Society of Mary in the United States. Although Marists first arrived in Louisiana in 1863, items in the collection date from the early 1800s through 2020. The provincial archives for the U.S. Province have been housed in the rectory at Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia since 2000, when the former Washington and San Francisco provinces consolidated into the Atlanta province. The archival collection of the former Boston province was moved from Framingham to Atlanta in 2014.

Selected images from the collection: 

Images courtesy of Society of Mary (Marists) U.S. Province Archives

A 1941 photograph of a gathering of white Catholic clergy including several Marists on the front steps of the Our Lady of Lourdes Colored Mission (later known as the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church), Atlanta's first African American Catholic church.

Title: Catholic Colored Mission of Our Lady of Lourdes Dedication  

URL: https://dlg.usg.edu/record/mpua_vinb_vb234-00001 

Description: A 1941 photograph of a gathering of white Catholic clergy including several Marists on the front steps of the Our Lady of Lourdes Colored Mission (later known as the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church), Atlanta’s first African American Catholic church. From inventory notes: December 14, 1941, attended by several Marists. Gerald O’Hara, Bishop of (then-) Savannah-Atlanta. Located on Forrest Avenue. 

Photograph of the Marist College Ivy Street Campus building and courtyard, taken in 1961.

Title: Marist College Ivy Street Campus slide 4         

URL: https://dlg.usg.edu/record/mpua_vinb_vb058-00001  

Description: Photograph of the Marist College Ivy Street Campus building and courtyard, taken in 1961.

Still shot of a member of the Catholic clergy at the Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia performing rites on an elderly woman

Title: Brennan Unidentified 2

URL: http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/do:mpua_mker_brennanunidentified2

Description:  Short film clip of a member of the Catholic clergy at the Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia performing rites on a woman and a number of students posing on a set of steps.

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