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 HomePLACE works with Georgia’s public libraries and related institutions to digitize historical content for inclusion in the Digital Library of Georgia.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.


Unique view of Athens arts and music scene from 1987-2012 in Flagpole Magazine

Flagpole. (Athens, Ga.) 1987-current, October 01, 1987, Page 1

Flagpole Magazine, Athens’ popular alternative newsweekly is the latest addition to the Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive (GHN), at, part of the Digital Library of Georgia, based at the University of Georgia Libraries. The release of this new collection coincides with the 30th anniversary of Flagpole.

Athens is unique as a small college town that became nationally prominent in the 1980s thanks to the emergence of breakthrough local music acts that were initially popularized during college radio’s heyday, and later gained traction on mainstream pop radio and MTV.

Since the late 1970s, dozens of clubs including the 40 Watt Club and the Georgia Theater have hosted music played by local bands such as Pylon, Limbo District, Love Tractor, the B-52s, and R.E.M. Jared Bailey and Dennis Greenia founded Flagpole Magazine in 1987 to cover news related to the city’s independent music scene; the publication has reported and recorded the history of the Athens music community through interviews, record reviews, concert listings, and advertisements.

Flagpole quickly expanded its content to include politics, art, theater, movies, books, food, local comics, and advice columns. Music coverage continued in the 1990s with Widespread Panic, Vic Chesnutt, Jack Logan, Jack O’ Nuts, Five-Eight, Hayride, and the Elephant 6 collective bands such as the Olivia Tremor Control, Elf Power, Of Montreal, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Circulatory System; bands on the Kindercore Records label such as Japancakes, Masters of the Hemisphere and the Sunshine Fix were also making their names. Throughout the 2000s, bands such as Dead Confederate, the Whigs, and alt-country bands such as the Drive-By Truckers have continued to thrive, as have annual music festivals such as AthFest and Popfest, which provide Athens venues for local, national, and international independent music acts.

For three decades, Flagpole has been a mirror on the local culture of Athens and its thriving arts scene. The publication remains independent and locally-owned, and is now edited and published by Pete McCommons, who joined the paper in 1993. Under the banner “Colorbearer of Athens, Georgia,” the Flagpole is distributed weekly and free of charge and has become a local institution and an irreplaceable source of news for local Athenians and music lovers alike.

The Flagpole online collection project, which began in 2014, is a collaborative venture between Flagpole, the Athens-Clarke County Library and the DLG.

Pete McCommons, co-publisher and editor of Flagpole notes: “Flagpole’s digital archives have been spotty in recent years. To have our complete archive available online again, thanks to the expertise of the Digital Library of Georgia and the hard work of the Athens Regional Library, is of great benefit to Flagpole—our staff as well as our readers and anybody researching Athens-oriented stories.”

Rikki Chesley, head of Archives and Special Collections for the Athens Regional Library System states: “Flagpole Magazine has been such an important part of Athens’ arts and music community for decades. Our staff went through years of microfilm to digitize every issue from the beginning to 2012. We are proud to partner with Flagpole and the Digital Library of Georgia to help make sure that this publication’s rich history is easily accessible to everyone.”

Athens music fans will be pleased to have full-text searching available for historic articles about music, politics, news, and feature stories that cover the city of Athens from 1987 to 2012. Flagpole issues from 2013 to the present are currently available at

About the Athens-Clarke County Library

The Athens-Clarke County Library is located at 2025 Baxter Street, Athens. It is the headquarters of the Athens Regional Library System, which serves Athens-Clarke, Franklin, Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties with 11 library branches. The mission of the Athens-Clarke County Libraries is to provide information and resources which address the needs of the community, foster enjoyment and a love of reading, and provide a repository of the history and culture of Athens-Clarke County. The Athens Regional Library System vision statement is, “Engaging Communities … Exceeding Expectations.” To learn more about the library system, its services and programs, visit

About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia 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.