Mercer Cluster Archive Now Available

The Digital Library of Georgia and the Mercer University Libraries are pleased to announce the availability of a new online resource: The Mercer Cluster Archive.

The Mercer Cluster Archive is an online database of Mercer University’s Macon campus newspaper that provides access to over fifty years of the publication ranging from 1920 to 1970. Consisting of over 5,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date. The images were scanned from microfilm held by the Mercer University Libraries’ Special Collections.

Mercer University was established as a private Baptist-affiliated school in 1833 in Penfield, Georgia, where ministerial students were trained in manual labor as well as classical studies. In 1871, the school moved from Penfield to Macon, where one of its campuses remains. The Mercer Cluster began publication as the university’s longest-running student newspaper in 1920. The paper is named for school founder Jesse Mercer’s hymnal, The Cluster of Spiritual Songs, Divine Hymns, and Sacred Poems. Since its inception the newspaper has covered stories and editorials about campus events, sports, sororities and fraternities, local issues, religious affairs, and club activities. The new Mercer Cluster Archive will allow users to explore twentieth century student life at Mercer University from the convenience of their computer.

The Mercer Cluster Archive is a project of the Digital Library of Georgia, a GALILEO initiative that shares Georgia’s history and culture online. Digitization is made possible by the Mercer University Libraries.

Other newspaper archives available through the Digital Library of Georgia include the Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive (1847-1922), the South Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive (1845-1922), the Macon Telegraph Archive (1826-1908), the Columbus Enquirer Archive (1828-1890), the Athens Historic Newspapers Archive (1827-1928), the Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive (1808-1920), the Southern Israelite Archive (1929-1986), and the Red and Black Archive (1893-2006). These archives can be accessed at


Burns Cottage


Postcard of Robert Burns Cottage, Atlanta, Georgia.
Postcard of Burns Cottage, Burns Club Grounds, Atlanta, Georgia. A reproduction of the original in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland. Historic Postcard Collection, RG 48-2-5, Georgia Archives.

During this week in 1759, Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland. A writer and lyricist devoted to the representation of the lives and opinions of ordinary Scots and the assertion of Scottish cultural independence and identity, he is celebrated worldwide by people of Scottish descent on the anniversary of his birthday, January 25. In Georgia, the Burns Club of Atlanta upholds this tribute to their favorite son, and has continued this tradition since 1898. At the beginning of the twentieth century, these Atlanta-area Scots took a step further to honor the memory of Burns and his work–in 1910 members of the club researched the exact measurements of Burns’ birthplace in Scotland and built a facsimile of the structure out of Georgia granite. Burns Cottage continues to stand in Atlanta’s historic Grant Park neighborhood, where it is still under the private ownership of the Burns Club of Atlanta. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 (see #83003572).

The picture postcard of Burns Cottage and the Burns Club grounds seen here can be found in the Georgia Archives’ Historic Postcard Collection, RG 48-2-5; a small portrait of Burns is displayed inside a small oval inset at the top right corner of the card.