Thomasville History Center’s Cutler Collection now freely available online

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is pleased to announce the availability of the Cutler Collection at https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/tchs_cutcol. These resources belong to the Thomasville History Center and have been made available online thanks in part to the DLG’s Competitive Digitization grant program, a funding opportunity intended to broaden DLG partner participation for statewide historic digitization projects. 

The digitized items from this collection consist primarily of diaries, letters, and family papers dating from 1800-1980 belonging to Hazel Beamer Cutler, a dancer on Broadway who performed in the Ziegfeld Follies in the 1920s, and who resided in Thomasville, Georgia throughout much of her life. Included in the materials is genealogical research on the Quarterman and Baker families, pioneers of South Georgia; correspondence with visual artists Dora Wheeler Keith and Ben Ali Haggin, III, and Vermont banker Henry Miles Cutler. There is also some information about Candace Wheeler, founder of the American Decorative Arts movement. 

These materials are useful to researchers looking into the history of American illustrator, portrait artist, and muralist Dora Wheeler Keith (1856-1940), who was Hazel Beamer Cutler’s guardian in New York City; and portrait painter and stage designer Ben Ali Haggin, III (1882-1951). Some materials in the collection refer to Candace Wheeler (1827-1923), Dora Wheeler Keith’s mother, who founded the Society of Decorative Arts in 1877 and was associated with the Colonial Revival, Aesthetic Movement, and the Arts and Crafts Movement throughout her long career. The Thomasville Baker and Beamer families developed a friendship with the New York Wheelers and Keiths while the Wheelers vacationed in Thomasville, Georgia during the Resort Era of 1875-1905. These items will shed light into the early twentieth century happenings within the field of decorative arts as well as the artistic work of Ben Ali Haggin, III and Dora Wheeler Keith. The Georgia-related materials on the Quarterman, Baker, Mallard, and Schaffer families collected by Hazel Beamer Cutler’s aunt, Sallie Baker (1862-1953), a Thomasville, Georgia educator, will be useful to genealogists. Hazel Beamer Cutler’s diaries provide a rich history of life in New York City and Thomasville, Georgia during the 1920s.

Anne McCudden, executive director of the Thomasville History Center, notes:  “Having these items digitized will allow our staff and outside researchers to more fully engage with the collection. Currently, we only have a cursory knowledge of the content. Being able to access the collection (specifically the diaries) will allow interested parties to see into the daily life and of Hazel Beamer [Cutler] while she was living in New York City in the early 1920s…This collection also documents her time spent with Ben Ali Haggin III, who was from a prominent Kentucky family of artists and authors.”

About the Thomasville History Center

The Thomasville History Center is a non-profit community organization dedicated to ensuring that the appreciation of Thomasville’s unique history remains an intrinsic and unbroken thread connecting the past and future through settings that advance the town’s story. The History Center is supported by approximately 300 personal and business members, hosts approximately 3,000 visitors each year, and engages another 2,000 through community outreach.  Nearly twenty percent of the Thomasville History Center’s audience are students and teachers. Visit the Thomasville History Center at https://www.thomasvillehistory.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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Digital Library of Georgia announces subgrants to support projects up to $7500: applications due October 1, 2019

To broaden partner participation in the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG), DLG is soliciting proposals for historic digitization projects costing up to $7500 from non-profit Georgia cultural heritage institutions. Applicant organizations must be open to the public, and their collections must be available for public research either by appointment or through regular hours. Project metadata will be included in the DLG portal and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Projects may include the reformatting of textual materials (not including newspapers), graphic materials, or audio-visual materials. Applicants should have materials prepared for a project start date of January 1, 2020.

Selection of materials or collections to digitize will be made in accordance with the DLG’s Collection Development Policy and will depend on the availability of resources and funding. Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of proposal–Project scope and responsibilities should be well-defined.
  • Diversity–Materials that represent the cultural, political, social, geographic, and/or economic diversity of the state of Georgia will be given priority.
  • Reusability–Materials should be free of legal restrictions or have permissions granted by the copyright holder. Preference is given to materials that are freely available or available for free reuse for either educational or non-commercial uses.
  • Historic value–Materials should have high research, artifactual, or evidential value and/or be of particular interest to multiple audiences.
  • Added value through digitization–Materials for which access will be substantially improved by digitization or which have a high potential for added value in the digital environment through linkages to existing digitized content will be given priority.
  • Capacity building–Preference will be given to organizations who have not yet collaborated with the DLG and/or those with limited digitization resources or experience.

A committee consisting of DLG, Georgia HomePLACE, Georgia Humanities Council, and Georgia Council for the Arts staff and representatives of GHRAC and the DLG partner community will determine awards. Awards committee members will recuse themselves from review of a proposal should a conflict of interest exist.

For textual and graphic materials, digitization and descriptive services will be performed by DLG staff. In the case of audio-visual collections, digitization will be outsourced to a vendor. Partners are responsible for transporting materials to and from the DLG or for costs associated with shipping to and from vendors.

Nominated materials must have clear rights statements and documentation. Any metadata created will be shared under a Creative Commons License Public Domain License (CC0), through the DLG’s portal and the DPLA.

To apply, submit a 2 MB or smaller zip file of the following to our proposal submission form (you will need a gmail account) by October 1, 2019:

  • Application form;
  • One letter of reference from a previous user of the materials describing their historic value and potential for reuse by multiple audiences;
  • Five samples of selected content;
  • A budget that includes conversion costs, metadata services, and hosting fees based on the DLG Digital Services Cost Recovery for Proposal Development and using the application budget form; and
  • If requesting DLG hosting, proof of rights status for materials (e.g., letter of permissions from copyright holder, donor’s agreement, orphan works status assessment, release form, etc.).

Important dates

August 14, 2019, 2 pm Webinar https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2r6Rp6pCTiS9izuFknKMNg

August 19, 2019, 9 am-noon Phone office hours with DLG staff https://zoom.us/j/509175401

August 20, 2019, 1-4 pm Phone office hours with DLG staff https://zoom.us/j/397616376

October 1, 2019, Proposals due

November 6, 2019, Committee reviews proposals

November 14, 2019, Recipients notified

December 14, 2019, Service agreements signed (Sample MOU available here) and project schedules agreed

January 1, 2020, Projects begin

Sample applications, reviewer materials, and information about past recipients and their projects are all available at https://sites.google.com/view/dlg-docs/dlg-documentation/dlg-subgranting-program.

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