New Collection from the Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System

Sylvania, the Rodeo City, Part 1 (Part 1 of Sylvania, the Rodeo City scrapbook). Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System Collection, Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System.
Sylvania, the Rodeo City, Part 1 (Part 1 of Sylvania, the Rodeo City scrapbook). Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System Collection, Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System.

We are pleased to announce a new collection from our partners at the Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System. The collection, the Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System Collection (available at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/CollectionsA-Z/gcm_search.html) is one of our newest resources featuring materials from public library collections that have been digitized as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Public Libraries Partnerships Project (PLPP).

Sharon Blank, the assistant director of the Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System, discusses her selection of materials for the digitization project:

“It was brought up that there weren’t a lot of resources covering life in post-WWII life in small rural towns like we have here in Screven and Jenkins Counties in Georgia.  A proposed collection focus was that small-town community life.  One of our towns, Sylvania, is actually home to the longest continuously-running Livestock Festival in Georgia, possibly in the country, and in the post-war boom times, Screven County was one of the places that many people stopped at on their way to the new tourist destination of Florida. The resources I selected gave a good glimpse of what life was like in those days.  Most of [the resources] were scrapbooks which had been collected to show off how great life could be in a small town… In addition to the scrapbooks and other materials offered from the library’s collection, there were also a collection of photos from one of our county’s citizens, Hilda Boykin, who literally rescued them from the trash after the Screven County News, one of the two newspapers we had during the 1950s and 1960s, closed.  While most of the issues of that paper have been preserved on microfilm, most of the photos were never printed, and have the benefits of both being taken by a professional photographer and of being taken by someone with unparalleled access to events.”

Blank notes that “many of the items offered for digitization are utterly unique.  If anything were to happen to the library and the items in our J. Dixon Hollingsworth, Jr. Genealogy/Georgia Room collection were damaged, those items would be completely irreplaceable…some of the items presented for digitization were so fragile that we didn’t dare have them out for the public to peruse.  The digitization project will allow people around the world to get a glimpse of our area’s rich history and a better look at the life of a small rural Georgia town, without risking damage to the items in the collection.”

Photograph of a public health nurse taking blood from Sylvania mayor Willard H. Lariscy, Sylvania, Georgia, 1951. Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System Collection, Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System.
Photograph of a public health nurse taking blood from Sylvania mayor Willard H. Lariscy, Sylvania, Georgia, 1951. Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System Collection, Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System.

Blank recommends looking at the Rodeo City Scrapbook. “It was a scrapbook created for a contest, and was illustrated by Gaetanna Bazemore Lariscy, an employee of the city who was also a talented artist and member of the Sylvania Junior Woman’s Club.  It is a work of art in itself, and you can see the time and care that went into creating the scrapbook for the city that she loved.”

Finally, Blank emphasizes the importance of making resources from smaller towns in Georgia available online.

“There aren’t a lot of places you can see what a small town in those times looked like through the eyes of its people, and we are glad to share a look through our people’s eyes… because communities like ours tend to be more easily overlooked and harder to research than big cities like Savannah or Atlanta, every bit of information that is shared will make it easier for the historian or genealogist to understand what was going on in the past.”

Please enjoy these new resources in the Screven-Jenkins Regional Library System Collection!

Share

New Collection from the Hall County Library System

Program for the Gainesville High School talent contest, Gainesville, Georgia, 1955 May 17. Hall County Library System Collection, Hall County Library System, Gainesville, Georgia.
Program for the Gainesville High School talent contest, Gainesville, Georgia, 1955 May 17. Hall County Library System Collection, Hall County Library System, Gainesville, Georgia.

We are excited to announce a new collection, the Hall County Library System Collection, which comes from our longtime partner, the Hall County Library System.

It is available at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/CollectionsA-Z/bgh_search.html

This collection was digitized as part of the DPLA’s Public Library Partnerships Project (PLPP), which connects public librarians and public library collections with the DLG and DPLA. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Georgia’s public libraries and learn more about the communities that they serve.

Ronda Sanders, who oversees the Sybil Wood McRay Genealogy & Local History Collection of the Hall County Library System describes the history of the Hall County Library System, which serves a county population of over 187,700 people.

“Prior to 1933, the ladies of the Grace Episcopal Church started a small community library in the basement of their church.  The tornado of 1936 destroyed the Grace Episcopal Church along with the library.  Because of this loss to the community, Hall County residents started the groundwork for a public library in Hall County, Georgia. The first meeting of the Hall County Library Board was held in 1937.  In March of 1938, the Hall County Library System officially moved into the basement of the courthouse where it remained until a modern two story library building was dedicated on February 8, 1970.  The library system has always been involved in the preservation of Hall County’s history.”

Photograph of teenagers at the Debuteen Ball, Gainesville, Georgia, 1953 December 30. Hall County Library System Collection, Hall County Library System, Gainesville, Georgia.
Photograph of teenagers at the Debuteen Ball, Gainesville, Georgia, 1953 December 30. Hall County Library System Collection, Hall County Library System, Gainesville, Georgia.

The Hall County Library System Collection contains photographs and memorabilia related to Gainesville, Georgia, Gainesville High School and Riverside Military School, and features photographs, flyers, dance invitations, concert programs, student newspapers and yearbooks belonging to Vera “Buzzie” Bennett, a student at Gainesville High School in the 1950s. The collection also includes a 1819-1926 record book for the Inferior Court in Gainesville, and a 1911 Riverside Military School yearbook.

A large part of the work on the Hall County Library System Collection has been done by library staff and devoted volunteers, including Sybil McRay, Louise White, LoRetta C. Parker, Mary Gallant, Susan Stewart, Tina Dumestre, Adrian Mixson, and Ronda Sanders.

We would like to thank the Hall County Library System for another opportunity to collaborate on bringing their valuable resources to the Digital Library of Georgia, and hope that you enjoy looking through the new Hall County Library System Collection!

Share