Oral history interviews of W. W. Law, civil rights workers, and 20-century Savannah civil rights history are now available freely online  

Selected by statewide cultural heritage stakeholders and funded by the DLG’s competitive digitization grant program, this collection is the Walter J. Brown Media Archives’s fourth collaboration with the DLG and is available here: https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/ugabma_wwlaw.

The content for this project consists of oral history interview videos with W. W. Law and other Savannah, Georgia, community members involved in the Civil Rights movement. The tapes were shot just prior to Mr. Law’s death and are the longest and most detailed interviews he did on his life and career as a Civil Rights activist.

The footage was shot in 2001 by Lisa Friedman with the help of the late oral historian Cliff Kuhn for the purpose of creating a documentary on the life of W. W. Law. Although that project never came to completion, it still managed to yield important historical content about Savannah civil rights workers and community leaders, including Aaron Buschbaum, Dr. Clyde W. Hall, Edna Branch Jackson, Ida Mae Bryant, Rev. Edward Lambrellis, Richard Shinholster, Tessie Rosanna Law, Dr. Amos C. Brown, Mercedes Arnold Wright, Carolyn Coleman, E.J. Josey, Walter J. Leonard, and Judge H. Sol Clark.

W. W. Law was fired from his job working for the post office in 1961 because of his civil rights work but was reinstated after an intervention by NAACP leaders and U.S. President John F. Kennedy. As with all civil rights movements in American towns and cities, stories of lesser-known activists in the Civil Rights Movement and the historical impact made by community leaders like Law and the others interviewed in this project are invaluable for researchers interested in the history of civil rights in Georgia.

Luciana Spracher, director of the City of Savannah Municipal Archives,  defines the importance of digital access to this content and the stewardship of this audiovisual work that was granted to the Brown Media Archives and made accessible through this DLG subgrant:

The City of Savannah Municipal Archives’s W. W. Law Collection represents his life’s work, as left behind by him at the time of his death in 2002. The Walter J. Brown and Peabody Awards Collection’s collection of W. W. Law material includes video interviews where Mr. Law discussed his life and legacy less than a year before his death, as well as interviews with people, well-represented in the papers of our collections that document civil rights activities in Savannah. Both collections complement and enhance understanding of the other. The opportunity to hear these individuals recall the events represented in our collections is invaluable to students and historians who are studying and learning from them. Greater discoverability of the interviews online will assist researchers in seeking insight into the Civil Rights Movement in Savannah, as well as the larger Movement in Georgia and the United States.”

[View the entire collection online]

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About the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection:

The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection is home to more than 350,000 analog audiovisual items, over 5,000,000 feet of newsfilm, and over 200,000 digital files. It is the third-largest broadcasting archive in the country, behind only the Library of Congress and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The Archives comprise moving image and sound collections that focus on American television and radio broadcasting and Georgia’s music, folklore, and history; this includes local television news and programs, audio folk music field tapes, and home movies from rural Georgia. In the Peabody Collection alone, there are more than 50,000 television programs and more than 39,500 radio programs. Its mission is to preserve, protect, and provide access to the moving image and sound materials that reflect the collective memory of broadcasting and the history of the state of Georgia and its people. Learn more at libs.uga.edu/media/index.html

About the Digital Library of Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) serves as Georgia’s statewide cultural heritage digitization initiative. It is a joint project between the University of Georgia Libraries and GALILEO. The DLG collaborates with Georgia’s cultural heritage and educational institutions to provide free online access to historic resources on Georgia. The DLG not only develops, maintains, and preserves digital collections and online resources, but also partners to build digitization capacity and technical infrastructure. It acts as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and facilitates cooperative digitization initiatives. The DLG serves as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, Georgia’s print journalism preservation project.

Visit our website at dlg.usg.edu
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Title : [wwlaw-0010] Interview with W. W. Law, Part 2 of 2 ; B-Roll of Green Meldrim House and Beach Institute African-American Cultural Center. Image courtesy of the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Title :  [wwlaw-0042] Interview with Mercedes Arnold Wright, Part 3 of 3 ; B-Roll footage of still photographs with voiceover. Image courtesy of the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

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City records showing the 20th-century growth of Sugar Hill, Georgia now available online in the Digital Library of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga.,  June 13, 2023 Selected by statewide cultural heritage stakeholders and funded by the DLG’s competitive digitization grant program, this collection is the City of Sugar Hill’s latest collaboration with the DLG and is available here: City Government Records.

The collection includes city council minutes, ordinances, resolutions, communications, economic studies, and other information ranging from the date the city was incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly (March 24, 1939) through the year June 1992. 

The digitized collection was also funded in part by a 2022 Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC) grant award administered to local historical repositories to develop and/or implement projects that identify, preserve, and provide access to historical records. Funding was made possible thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC).

These documents, which in their original form were stored in the City Archives room in file cabinets for years and with limited access, are now available for researchers interested in the diverse issues addressed through its many ordinances.  The information in the records ranges from what types of businesses were allowed to operate in the city limits to rules guiding the resident’s property rights.  It also includes records related to the city’s handling of property annexations, salary information for city government officials and staff, and rate/fee comparisons on utility rates (water, sewer, gas, sanitation) in the nearby localities.  In addition,  data that reflects the state’s cultural, political, social, geographic, and economic diversity provides a broader view of the community’s growth over the decades. 

Brandon S. Hembree, Mayor of the City of Sugar Hill, notes:

“The Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society was created by the City of Sugar Hill in 2015 with the mission of expanding the community’s awareness and appreciation for Sugar Hill’s past. The City celebrated its 84th birthday on March 24, 2023. We have a rich history and, as the current Mayor, I often view these City Council ledgers for information about our past and inspiration for our future as a community.”

[View the entire collection online]

 

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About the City of Sugar Hill

The Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7 pm. All meetings are held in the History Museum Room at Sugar Hill City Hall. You can find out more at: https://cityofsugarhill.com/government/boards-commissions/historic-preservation-society/.

 

Selected images from the collection: 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society (Sugar Hill, Ga.)

Sugar Hill, Georgia city council minutes, December 22, 1948-December 3, 1964

Title : Sugar Hill, Georgia city council minutes, December 22, 1948-December 3, 1964.https://dlg.usg.edu/record/shgapc_cgr_144 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society (Sugar Hill, Ga.)

Title : Sugar Hill, Georgia city council minutes, January 7, 1965-December 20, 1975

https://dlg.usg.edu/record/shgapc_cgr_145 

 

 

 

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