The Southern Voice newspaper, also known as SOVO, was an alternative news source for lesbians and gay men in the greater Atlanta area and Southeast for over 20 years. The paper was founded in 1988 by Christina Cash and Leigh VanderEls with a bi-weekly circulation of 5,000 copies. Southern Voice provided coverage of local and national events, editorials, and guides to local arts and entertainment. Circulation grew to 15,000 within two years, reaching a maximum readership of 100,000 during the 2000s. KSU Archives researchers have used the Southern Voice collection for exhibits, and class projects. Now, users of the Digital Library of Georgia and DPLA will be able to research local Georgia history, journalism, LGBT rights, and other issues.
Heather Oswald, Archivist and Coordinator of Outreach in the KSU Archives has been working with the Southern Voice collection since its initial donation, placing emphasis on making the paper as widely available as possible. She notes: “Southern Voice grew out of the need for a dedicated news source for the LGBT community following the 1987 March on Washington. From its initial publication in 1988, it functioned as one of the only papers targeted toward LGBT issues in the southeast, providing information on topics such as the fight against AIDS, marriage equality, discrimination, and violence against gay individuals. In addition, it provided alternative perspectives on major issues to those presented by the mainstream media. ”
The KSU Archives is working to locate, preserve, and digitize a complete run of the paper. Although they acquired a significant number of Southern Voice issues from donor David McLaughlin, they are still seeking a number of issues. Oswald has worked with colleagues from Atlanta-area institutions to help fill in gaps in the collection; these partners include the Atlanta History Center, Georgia State University, and Emory University. If you, or anyone you know, may have held on to back issues of the Southern Voice, please contact the KSU Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the specific issues the KSU Archives is missing, visit https://archives.kennesaw.edu/lgbtq-publications-collection.
We hope that you enjoy this important new resource!
We are excited to announce the arrival of the Georgia Folklore Collection through our partnership with the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. The Georgia Folklore Collection includes over one thousand hours of music, interviews, and storytelling.
The Georgia Folklore Collection consists primarily of field recordings made by Art Rosenbaum donated to the University of Georgia Libraries Media Archives in 1987. The collection also contains associated collections of sound and video recordings from around Georgia, including those made between 1955 and 1983 by volunteers from the Georgia Folklore Society. Some of the artists represented in the collection include the Tanner family, Reverend Howard Finster, the McIntosh County Shouters, Doodle Thrower and the Golden River Grass, Neal Pattman, Joe Rakestraw, Jake Staggers, the Eller brothers, Doc and Lucy Barnes, Nathaniel and Fleeta Mitchell, R. A. Miller, W. Guy Bruce, Precious Bryant, and many more.
Ruta Abolins, the director of the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection describes the history of the collection: “The field recordings of the Georgia Folklore Collection were gathered by individuals wanting to collect music and the musicians unique to Georgia. In that group were people like Art Rosenbaum, now a retired art professor at the University of Georgia, George Mitchell, a music historian, and others who collected the recordings during the 1950s to 1980s. They were inspired by the work of Alan Lomax and the field recordings he made all over the world.” Abolins notes: “The collection as a whole is so rich and diverse that anyone with even a passing interest in music or folklife can find something interesting and informative. I just hope that the content is used to educate, entertain, and inspire.”
Abolins describes the process of making this collection available online: “We decided what should be digitized and the analog to digital file creation was taken care of by a vendor. We had gathered our basic metadata together and provided that information to the Digital Library of Georgia. The DLG then created the records for the DPLA and now we are represented in a fantastic portal that leads to digital content from all across the United States. It is a win-win-win-win project. Great for the Brown Media Archives, great for the Digital Library of Georgia, great for the Digital Public Library of America, and most importantly a great win for the American people.”
We hope that you take some time to explore the Georgia Folklore Collection and learn more about the Georgia artists represented therein.