Georgia antebellum newspapers now freely available online

As part of a $14,495 grant from the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation, the Digital Library of Georgia has digitized approximately 53,930 pages of Georgia newspaper titles published prior to 1861 from microfilm held by the Georgia Newspaper Project (http://www.libs.uga.edu/gnp/). The project creates full-text searchable versions of the newspapers and presents them online for free in its Georgia Historic Newspapers database at http://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu in accordance with technical guidelines developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress for the National Digital Newspaper Program (see https://www.loc.gov/ndnp/ . The Georgia Historic Newspapers database will utilize the Library of Congress’ open source tool, Chronicling America, for the online delivery of the full-text newspapers.Users will be able to search the database for geographic, corporate, family, and personal names.

138 pre-Civil War titles have been digitized from the following Georgia cities: Albany, Americus, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Auraria, Calhoun, Carrollton, Cartersville, Cassville, Clarkesville, Columbus, Covington, Cuthbert, Darien, Forsyth, Ft. Hawkins, Greensboro, Griffin, Hamilton, Louisville, Lumpkin, Macon, Madison, Mount Zion, Newnan, Oglethorpe, Penfield, Petersburg, Rome, Savannah, Sparta, Thomaston, Thomasville, Warrenton, and Washington.

Vivian Price Saffold, chairman of the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Advisory Committee, states: “Since 1971 genealogy researchers have depended on publications funded by grants from the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation. The Foundation has funded the printing of thousands of books in traditional format. More recently the addition of digital projects, such as the Digital Library of Georgia’s newspaper project, have made possible free online access to tens of thousands of Georgia newspaper pages that previously were difficult to research. The DLG project is a great example of the kind of grant request the Foundation is proud to fund. Georgia newspapers are a valuable resource. On the technical side, the online newspaper images are sharp and clear, and the functionality of the indexing is excellent.”

About the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation

The purpose of the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation Trust is to promote genealogical research and study in Georgia in conjunction with the Georgia Genealogical Society and the Georgia Archives. Grants are made to individuals and organizations to defray the expense of publishing (print or digital) records of a genealogical nature from public and private sources. The primary emphasis is on preserving and making available to the public genealogical data concerning citizens of Georgia who were residents prior to 1851. Visit the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation at http://taylorfoundation.org/

About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia https://dlg.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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Georgia Public Library Service Releases “Georgia’s Treasures” Guide to Genealogy, History and Culture

The front cover of the newly released genealogy booklet, “Georgia’s Treasures.”

This press release is part of a series of guest posts contributed by our partners at HomePLACE, a project of the Georgia Public Library Service. HomePLACE works with Georgia’s public libraries and related institutions to digitize historical content for inclusion in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Georgia’s Treasures: Exploring Your Genealogy, History and Culture at Public Libraries” is now available at public libraries across the state. This 16-page, full-color booklet showcases the genealogy resources found in numerous public libraries in Georgia.

“As families come together this holiday season, we hope this booklet will inspire future visits to Georgia’s public libraries. Whether visitors are new to uncovering family history or seasoned genealogy researchers, these distinctive collections offer something for everyone,” said State Librarian Julie Walker.

The booklet was inspired by four major public library history and genealogy collections: the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, part of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System; the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library, part of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System; the Genealogical and Historical Room and Middle Georgia Archives, located in Macon and part of the Middle Georgia Regional Library System; and the Ladson Genealogy Library, located in Vidalia and part of the Ohoopee Regional Library System.

Combined, these collections offer nearly 185,000 print volumes and 50,000 reels of microfilm of genealogy, local history and culture, as well as hundreds of original archival collections. An additional six libraries in Athens, Augusta, Brunswick, Savannah, Marietta and Washington are noted for their impressive collections, public programs and reference services.

“We are so proud to be featured among all the amazing genealogy collections in Georgia,” said Moultrie-Colquitt County Library Director Holly Phillips. “We hope even more people will be aware, and take advantage, of all the resources we have to offer at the Odom Library. We’re also pleased to be able to help promote other libraries’ materials to further the important mission of genealogical research.”

In addition to physical collections, every public library card holder in the state can access online genealogy tools like HeritageQuest from home through GALILEO – Georgia’s Virtual Library – as well as Ancestry Library Edition at their local library branch. Researchers anywhere also have access to the Virtual Vault, a digital collection of resources from the state library’s sister organization, the Georgia Archives. Links to these resources, as well as to a PDF version of the booklet, can be found here.

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