Civic Magazine collection from City of Savannah, Research Library and Municipal Archives

Savannah mayor Floyd Adams, Jr. hands out lunches at a summer lunch program for children.  Civic Magazine, 2002 Civic Magazine collection, Savannah (Ga.). Research Library and Municipal Archives
Savannah mayor Floyd Adams, Jr. hands out lunches at a summer lunch program for children.
Civic Magazine, 2002. Civic Magazine collection, Savannah (Ga.). Research Library and Municipal Archives

The DLG is pleased to announce the availability of the Civic Magazine collection from our partners at the City of Savannah, Research Library and Municipal Archives.  The collection is available at:

According to Luciana Spracher, the library and archives director for the City of Savannah, Research Library and Municipal Archives, “Civic Magazine was one of the earliest programs of the City of Savannah’s Government Channel 8, the city’s cable access channel now called SGTV 8, run by the City of Savannah’s Public Information Office (PIO).  The PIO office was established in 1987 “in an effort to improve communications between City Hall and the taxpayers,’ and help “the public better understand city programs and operations’ (taken from Charles Craig, “Former News Anchor City’s First PR Officer,” Savannah Morning News, 1987).  Civic Magazine helped the city government reach out and communicate to Savannah’s citizens in new ways, and connect with new audiences.” She notes:  “I think the collection is important overall because it reflects the City of Savannah’s engagement with the community, as well as the unique personalities of our citizens and neighborhoods, something that is not often reflected in more traditional, paper-based records.”

Online access to this collection is exciting because, according to Spracher, “when Civic Magazine was produced (from 1998-2002), U-Matic ¾” tapes were in use by the television and news industry.  Now in 2016 everything is digital and we no longer had the equipment to play the tapes back for researchers or even staff.  So even though the tapes were inventoried based on labeling and PIO inventories and technically available to the public, we couldn’t access the content.”  She notes “Having the old U-Matic tapes digitized and made available online through the Digital Library of Georgia will open up this collection to our citizens, researchers, and City staff for the first time for true use.  In fact, I will be discovering most of this collection as a first-time user, and I can’t wait!”

The collection focuses a great deal on city growth and municipal government activities in Savannah at the end of the twentieth century.  When asked if this period of time was especially busy for Savannah, Spracher says:  “I think we could say that any period of time in city government was busy for its era with either rapid growth or major challenges that we are trying to overcome.  The difference here is that in the late twentieth century, for the first time, the City is starting to capture these events through video so we have a more dynamic record of what is going on than just the static approval of a program or the paper invitation to the ribbon cutting, but the actual final event that was the culmination of all the hard work.  It helps bring history to life in a different way when we can almost be there by watching and listening to it.”

The city of Savannah is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Olympic yachting events being held in Savannah. Spracher is particularly interested in looking at all the material in the collection that is related to the 1996 Olympics. She notes: “We had several important Olympic events here in the community as part of the Olympics, including the arrival of the Olympic flag in 1992, the Olympic Torch Relay in 1996, and major community beautification projects leading up to the races.”

We hope that you take the time to view the resources in this new collection and witness the many ways the city government of Savannah has been involved with its community.


Moore’s Ford lynchings and anti-lynching movement resources in the DLG

Stetson Kennedy's handwritten notes on the Moore's Ford lynching in Monroe.
Stetson Kennedy’s handwritten notes on the Moore’s Ford lynching in Monroe. Lynching, 1936-1949; undated. Local identification number: L1979-37_1514_40. Stetson Kennedy papers, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.

July 25 is the seventieth anniversary of the Moore’s Ford lynchings, where George W. Dorsey, Mae Murray Dorsey, Roger Malcom and Dorothy Malcom, all Walton County sharecroppers, were killed by a white mob near Moore’s Ford Bridge in Monroe, Georgia. The lynching was reported in the national press, and was investigated by both the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI. Despite these efforts to seek justice, no one was ever indicted for the crime.

On July 25, the Moore’s Ford Movement is hosting the 12th annual reenactment of the lynchings that begins at 10 a.m. at First African Baptist Church in Monroe, and travels to the Moore’s Ford bridge.

There are numerous resources in the DLG, the New Georgia Encyclopedia, and the Civil Rights Digital Library about people who worked for the anti-lynching movement.

Here are a few:

Lynching, 1936-1949; undated

Clippings and notes regarding lynching collected and written by investigative reporter and labor activist Stetson Kennedy.  Page 30 of the PDF includes Kennedy’s handwritten notes on the Moore’s Ford lynching in Monroe.


Commission on Interracial Cooperation

New Georgia Encyclopedia article about the Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC), founded in Atlanta in 1919, which worked until its merger with the Southern Regional Council in 1944 to oppose lynching, mob violence, and peonage and to educate white southerners concerning the worst aspects of racial abuse.


Oral history interview with Willie Snow Ethridge, December 15, 1975

During the 1920s and 1930s, Ethridge was actively involved in the anti-lynching movement. Working primarily within the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, Ethridge both wrote and spoke about lynching and its implications for African Americans and poor whites.

Here is an excerpt from her oral history interview where she discusses working for the anti-lynching movement in the 1920s and 1930s.


Oral history interview with Clark Foreman, November 16, 1974

This interview covers three separate conversations with Clark Foreman regarding his career in race relations, public service, and politics. His childhood in Georgia and his travels in Europe led to his work for the Commission on Interracial Cooperation in Atlanta. Foreman witnessed a lynching while he attended University of Georgia. The event seemed horrific and barbaric to him and to his family members. Here is an excerpt from his oral history interview where he discusses witnessing the lynching.


Oral History Interview with Broadus Mitchell, August 14 and 15, 1977

This interview with economic historian John Broadus Mitchell , who, while teaching at Johns Hopkins University in the 1930s came under the administration’s scrutiny when he publicly spoke out about a lynching in Salisbury, Maryland. Here is an excerpt about that experience.