We would like to welcome two new collections from our partners at the Atlanta History Center: the Sam Massell Papers Collection and the Living Atlanta Oral History Collection.
The Sam Massell Papers collection contains a diverse set of materials representing the life and career of Sam Massell, Jr., who served as mayor of Atlanta from 1970 to 1974. These resources provide an excellent perspective of Massell’s career as a politician and businessman, and contain information relating to the many civic, political, and business organizations in which Sam Massell was involved.
Paul Crater, Vice President, Research Services at the Atlanta History Center remarks on the significance of the Sam Massell Papers collection: “Very few of Atlanta’s mayors left their papers to archival institutions and the Sam Massell papers are uniquely positioned to offer researchers insights into his time in office and of Atlanta politics and social conditions in general.”
The Living Atlanta oral history collection includes oral history interviews of Atlantans discussing race relations, social life, customs, economic conditions, politics, and government during the twentieth century.
Crater notes that the Living Atlanta oral history collection “presents a diverse group of interviewees on a wide range of (still) relevant topics and offer many examples of commentary and reminiscences that I believe our audiences will find compelling.” He recommends listening to an interview conducted with Alice Adams, an African American domestic worker who began working in the 1930s: “She talks about the reality of working 12-14 hour days for very low pay and having to endure riding on segregated trolleys and street cars to and from her job. She muses on the irony of how she could serve food, clean houses, change babies, make beds, and do laundry for whites and yet was not allowed to sit next to a white person on a street car. Her ability to clearly illustrate the absurdity of the custom of segregation is riveting.”
We hope that you enjoy these two newest resources from the Atlanta History Center!
We are pleased to announce new collections with lots of new content from the City of Savannah, Research Library and Municipal Archives.
These new collections include:
the Benjamin Van Clark Neighborhood Documentation Project (Oral histories related to the Benjamin Van Clark Neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia focusing on mass transportation and the development of streetcar suburbs; desegregation and its changing population; and the revitalization and rehabilitation of the community).
the Eastside Documentation Project (Oral histories related to five eastside Savannah neighborhoods, East Savannah, Hillcrest, Pine Gardens, Savannah Gardens, and Twickenham).
Luciana Spracher, the library and archives director for the City of Savannah, Research Library and Municipal Archives, comments on the breadth of resources available: “For a municipal government, we have a very robust archival program, probably very fitting for a city of Savannah’s historical nature, and I think a lot of people will generally be surprised by how much we have, whether it is records on individuals, businesses, properties, or government growth and activities, in general.”
She adds: “We are particularly excited to share the oral history collections digitally. Prior to this we did not have a good way to allow individuals to listen to the audio recordings and I think this new access will increase their use and appreciation. I am also excited that we are sharing twentieth century collections and history with our citizens and users. We have previously had a strong focus on nineteenth century records, but we are increasingly seeing where we need to start addressing gaps in our twentieth century records, and researchers are increasingly interested in studying twentieth century events and issues.
Now that these collections are available in the Digital Library of Georgia and the Digital Public Library of America, Spracher is eager to reach new researchers: “Our greatest hope for our collections through DLG and DPLA is that this will increase access and awareness. We hope that new audiences will be introduced to them that may never have considered the City of Savannah as a source on certain topics. I’m always excited when our records are used in ways that we never could have anticipated or hoped for.”
We hope that you take the time to explore these new collections, and learn more about how the twentieth century has shaped Savannah’s modern history.