Unique view of Athens arts and music scene from 1987-2012 in Flagpole Magazine

Flagpole. (Athens, Ga.) 1987-current, October 01, 1987, Page 1

Flagpole Magazine, Athens’ popular alternative newsweekly is the latest addition to the Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive (GHN), at https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn94029049/, part of the Digital Library of Georgia, based at the University of Georgia Libraries. The release of this new collection coincides with the 30th anniversary of Flagpole.

Athens is unique as a small college town that became nationally prominent in the 1980s thanks to the emergence of breakthrough local music acts that were initially popularized during college radio’s heyday, and later gained traction on mainstream pop radio and MTV.

Since the late 1970s, dozens of clubs including the 40 Watt Club and the Georgia Theater have hosted music played by local bands such as Pylon, Limbo District, Love Tractor, the B-52s, and R.E.M. Jared Bailey and Dennis Greenia founded Flagpole Magazine in 1987 to cover news related to the city’s independent music scene; the publication has reported and recorded the history of the Athens music community through interviews, record reviews, concert listings, and advertisements.

Flagpole quickly expanded its content to include politics, art, theater, movies, books, food, local comics, and advice columns. Music coverage continued in the 1990s with Widespread Panic, Vic Chesnutt, Jack Logan, Jack O’ Nuts, Five-Eight, Hayride, and the Elephant 6 collective bands such as the Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Circulatory System; bands on the Kindercore Records label such as Japancakes, Masters of the Hemisphere and the Sunshine Fix were also making their names. Throughout the 2000s, bands such as Dead Confederate, the Whigs, and alt-country bands such as the Drive-By Truckers have continued to thrive, as have annual music festivals such as AthFest and Popfest, which provide Athens venues for local, national, and international independent music acts.

For three decades, Flagpole has been a mirror on the local culture of Athens and its thriving arts scene. The publication remains independent and locally-owned, and is now edited and published by Pete McCommons, who joined the paper in 1993. Under the banner “Colorbearer of Athens, Georgia,” the Flagpole is distributed weekly and free of charge and has become a local institution and an irreplaceable source of news for local Athenians and music lovers alike.

The Flagpole online collection project, which began in 2014, is a collaborative venture between Flagpole, the Athens-Clarke County Library and the DLG.

Pete McCommons, co-publisher and editor of Flagpole notes: “Flagpole’s digital archives have been spotty in recent years. To have our complete archive available online again, thanks to the expertise of the Digital Library of Georgia and the hard work of the Athens Regional Library, is of great benefit to Flagpole—our staff as well as our readers and anybody researching Athens-oriented stories.”

Rikki Chesley, head of Archives and Special Collections for the Athens Regional Library System states: “Flagpole Magazine has been such an important part of Athens’ arts and music community for decades. Our staff went through years of microfilm to digitize every issue from the beginning to 2012. We are proud to partner with Flagpole and the Digital Library of Georgia to help make sure that this publication’s rich history is easily accessible to everyone.”

Athens music fans will be pleased to have full-text searching available for historic articles about music, politics, news, and feature stories that cover the city of Athens from 1987 to 2012. Flagpole issues from 2013 to the present are currently available at http://flagpole.com/

About the Athens-Clarke County Library

The Athens-Clarke County Library is located at 2025 Baxter Street, Athens. It is the headquarters of the Athens Regional Library System, which serves Athens-Clarke, Franklin, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties with 11 library branches. The mission of the Athens-Clarke County Libraries is to provide information and resources which address the needs of the community, foster enjoyment and a love of reading, and provide a repository of the history and culture of Athens-Clarke County. The Athens Regional Library System vision statement is, “Engaging Communities … Exceeding Expectations.” To learn more about the library system, its services and programs, visit http://www.athenslibrary.org.

About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources.  DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project.

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Digital Library of Georgia Hits 1 Million Newspaper Pages

October 23, 2017

WRITER: Jean Cleveland, jclevela@uga.edu, 706-542-8079

CONTACT: Sheila McAlister, mcalists@uga.edu, 706-542-5418

Digital Library Hits 1 Million Newspaper Pages

ATHENS, Ga — The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is celebrating its 1 millionth digitized historic newspaper page. The premier issue of the Georgia Gazette, Georgia’s first newspaper, published from 1763-1776 in Savannah, will become the 1 millionth page of historic newspapers to be made freely available online through the Georgia Historic Newspapers (GHN): https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn83016182/1763-04-07/ed-1/seq-1/. James Johnston, the first printer in Georgia, published the state’s first newspaper issue on April 7, 1763.

Public libraries around the state are being provided with printed materials, including  bookmarks, rack cards, and temporary tattoos, as well as a freely downloadable digital press kit to encourage local celebrations of the milestone.

The online press kit, available at https://sites.google.com/view/ghn-presskits,  will include:

  • A curriculum guide for educational/ library programming with GHN;
  • A PowerPoint slide deck template for creating presentations on how to use the GHN web site;
  • A DLG “Quick Facts” document with information about the DLG, its public library partners, communication channels, and our historic newspaper milestones;
  • A selection of prepared GHN-related posts that can be shared on social media; and
  • A Millionth Page badge graphic to share within posts on social media

The DLG will promote its millionth page with weekly social media posts that feature items from our digitized newspapers, and will conduct a contest with Facebook users who share our millionth page social media posts and tag us. Two winners will be drawn at random, and awarded a copy of UGA Press’ book For Free Press and Equal Rights by Richard H. Abbott.

Sheila McAlister, director of the DLG, remarks: “Making Georgia’s first newspaper freely available online is the perfect way for us to celebrate this important milestone. Historic newspapers reflect the social and cultural values of the time that they were created and are invaluable to scholars and the general public. With the help of our partners, we will continue add more of this sought-after content.”

Since 2007, the DLG has been providing access to the state’s historic newspapers through multiple online city and regional newspaper archives. With the launch of the GHN in July 2017, the DLG continues that tradition by bringing together new and existing resources into a single, consolidated website.

The GHN includes some of the state’s earliest newspapers; important African-American, Roman Catholic, and Cherokee newspapers; and issues from Atlanta, Augusta, Butler, Columbus, Dublin, Fayetteville, Houston county, Louisville, Sandersville, Thomson, Walker county, Waycross, and Waynesboro. All previously digitized newspapers are scheduled to be incorporated into the new GHN platform. Until that time, users may continue to access the existing regional and city sites (North, South, West Georgia, Athens, Macon, and Savannah). Historic newspaper pages are consistently the most visited of any DLG sites, and the GHN provides newspaper issues that are full-text searchable and able to be browsed by date and title.

Most recently, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the Digital Library of Georgia a National Digital Newspaper Program grant to digitize 100,000 additional pages of Georgia historic newspapers over the next two years. Annually, DLG digitizes over 100,000 historic newspaper pages with funding from GALILEO, Georgia Public Library Service, and its partners and microfilms more than 200 current newspapers.

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources.  DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project.

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