ATHENS, Ga. — The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is pleased to announce the availability of Superintendent’s annual reports for the Fulton County, Georgia school system at dlg.usg.edu/collection/fcs_superintendents. These resources 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.
These annual reports were submitted by local, public school districts to the State School Superintendent’s Office as part of their operations to receive accreditation and funding, and contain demographic information pertaining to the growth of the school system located in and around Atlanta between the years 1929 and 1977. Data was collected on both African American and white schools and was expressed using the “dual school system” terminology of “colored” and “white.” The reports also contain material related to school employees, building materials and valuations, as well as transportation and supply costs. A small portion of this collection includes reports from Milton and Campbell counties just before they merged with Fulton County.
Michael Santrock, the archives and collections specialist at Fulton County Schools Archives notes:
“Information gathered from school systems have a great potential to illuminate the history of a place…from learning and teaching to voting and playing, they are institutions that reflect the social and cultural milieus of the districts they reside within. The Superintendent’s Annual Reports of Fulton County Schools document this story by offering a look at the growth of metro Atlanta throughout some very crucial decades of the twentieth century. The oldest portion of this collection provides evidence of a largely rural and segregated district during the Great Depression, while the latter portion is a culmination of the movement to integrate the schools after the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954–a process that lasted seventeen years. In this respect, the reports help to clarify one of the defining issues of the Civil Rights Movement.”
About Fulton County Schools Archives
The Fulton County Schools Archives preserves and maintains a wide range of historic materials such as board minutes, school yearbooks, and audiovisual recordings while serving the public as a repository for these historical collections. Visit www.fultonschools.org/archives.
Old Georgia Homes is a blog that began in 2015 as a hobby for me as a Georgia history and old house enthusiast and has since grown to 60,000 social media followers. One of the goals of the blog is to share house histories and notable personalities in an engaging format to an audience that is primarily under the age of 40. I believe that it is important to share homes and history all over the state–small towns have as much reader engagement as large cities. I partner with historical societies and preservation organizations to share local success stories and am proud to see our audience members taking trips to small towns after learning about them on the blog.
The Digital Library of Georgia’s Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive is a valuable tool in researching old homes throughout Georgia. Sometimes old houses may tell us clues about their former owners. Many times, they do not. Older newspapers often have a lot of information about the families of historic homes, and usually some details of their construction. The Archive allows me to bring new and different information about some of these old homes and businesses. Social history adds engaging content for my audience versus just architectural details on the house. Stories that get passed down through the generations may change over time. The Archive provides an avenue to find the story when it was a current event.
The Georgia Historic Newspaper Archive has been invaluable for information about homes in smaller towns all over the state. Leading families often owned historic homes in smaller cities, and the local newspaper covered them extensively. I’m able to add details about a party held in the home, dinner menus, a wedding, or other significant events that took place in the home. This type of information helps to bring an old house to life.
Finally, the Newspaper Archive has a great deal of information on businesses that were in operation at the time. Old advertisements combined with news and editorials provide an excellent snapshot of the timeframe. What were the major topics of the day? What business was in that old building on Main Street? These are factual answers the Georgia Historic Newspaper Archive can help provide.
Combining the Georgia Historic Newspaper Archive, along with the Vanishing Georgia photograph collection from the Georgia Archives helps to bring the story of a house – and its families – to life.
– Lane Fuller, author of the blog Old Georgia Homes
Feature Image: The weekly banner. (Athens, Ga.) 1891-1921, March 17, 1911, Page 1. The article “Death Came Suddenly to Mrs. Alice Fleming,” available on page 1 of the issue was referenced in Fuller’s blog post “Fleming House, 1890 – Athens.”