Historical aerial photography indexes that chronicle changing land use in all of Georgia’s 159 counties from the 1930s to 1990s are now available freely online.

Along with our partners at the University of Georgia Map and Government Information Library (MAGIL), the Digital Library of Georgia has made the Georgia Aerial Photography Index Collection available at https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/gyca_gaphind, now providing online access to more than 1200 indexes produced by U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS). Indexes covering all 159 Georgia counties are available with coverage ranging from the 1930s to the 1990s. The Georgia Aerial Photograph Index Collection provides access to digital versions of all Georgia county indexes in MAGIL’s physical collection. Previously-digitized indexes of select counties in the State of Georgia, along with approximately 50,000 black and white photographs, are available in the Georgia Aerial Photographs database.

Aerial photography depicts the physical and cultural characteristics of land at a specific time. The images can provide insights into various fields from ecology and geography to history, archeology, and urban planning. In addition to aiding in the mapmaking process, aerial photographs can be used to settle legal issues such as property disputes and even identify ancestral sites for people researching genealogy, according to the National Archives website https://www.archives.gov/research/cartographic/aerial-photography.

“MAGIL’s aerial photography collection is heavily used by researchers looking for everything from the existence of the old family farm to the first appearance of a bridge to the development of an intersection over time,” said Valerie Glenn, the head of UGA’s Map and Government Information Library and Federal Regional Depository Librarian. “By making these indexes available through the Digital Library of Georgia, we are greatly improving access for those users interested in how Georgia land has or has not changed and providing them the ability to conduct preliminary research on an area without having to travel to Athens.”

Allison Haas has used these materials in her research, working for EDR/Lightbox. “Daily I use materials from the Map and Government Information Library for historical property research on commercial real estate sites as part of the environmental due diligence process,” Haas said. “Historical aerial photographs are key elements in the reports we provide to our clients. Quick turn around on these reports is very important. Online access to this collection has improved workflow and helps get the reports to our clients quickly.”


Selected Images: 

Dekalb County, 1938: Aerial photography index
https://dlg.usg.edu/record/gyca_gaphind_dekalb-1938
[attachment: gyca_gaphind_dekalb-1938-00001.png (page 1)]

Dekalb County, 1938: Aerial photography index



Glynn County, 1981: Aerial photography index
https://dlg.usg.edu/record/gyca_gaphind_glynn-1981
[attachment: gyca_gaphind_glynn-1981-00001.png (page 1)]

Glynn County, 1981: Aerial photography index



About the University of Georgia Map and Government Information Library (MAGIL)

The Map and Government Information Library (MAGIL), a unit of the University of Georgia Libraries, acquires, organizes, and provides access to cartographic and government information. It is located in the sub-basement of the Main Library on North Campus.

The UGA Libraries serves as Georgia’s regional depository for documents published by the Federal government as well as the official depository for documents published by the State of Georgia. Its collections also include select international and United Nations documents. Cartographic resources include maps, aerial photography and remote sensed imagery, atlases, digital spatial data, and reference materials, with a particular emphasis on the state of Georgia. 

Maps and government documents have been an integral part of the University of Georgia Libraries for more than 100 years. For more information, read about the history of MAGIL. 

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2018 Grant Program Increases Digital Participation in the Digital Library of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga — Berry College, Georgia State University, and the Oconee Regional Library are among three Competitive Digitization grants awarded through an ongoing subgranting program with the Digital Library of Georgia.

 

These institutions are recipients of the second set of grants awarded in a program intended to broaden partner participation in the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG). The DLG solicited proposals for historic digitization projects in a statewide call, and applicants submitted proposals for projects with a cost of up to $5,000. The projects will be administered by DLG staff who will perform digitization and descriptive services on textual (not including newspapers), graphic, and audio-visual materials.

 

Sheila McAlister, director of the Digital Library of Georgia notes: “Thanks to our review partners from Georgia Humanities, Georgia Public Library Service, Georgia Arts Council, Georgia Historic Records Advisory Council, and DLG partner volunteers, we’ve selected another strong slate of digital projects that reflect the diversity of Georgia. The collections document Berry College’s history from the 1940s to the 1960s, African American education in Laurens County during the 1930s, and finally, Atlanta LGBTQ entertainment and news during the last decade of the 20th century.”

 

Preference in the selection process was given to proposals from institutions that had not yet collaborated with the DLG. The Oconee Regional Library is a new partner for the DLG.

 

The three recipients and their projects include:

 

  • Berry College (Mount Berry, Ga.) – Digitization of the Southern Highlander (Spring/Summer 1943 – September 1966). The Southern Highlander, the official magazine published by the Berry Schools in Mount Berry, Georgia, documents the Berry Schools’ history. This publication, which was the primary publication used by the Berry Schools to communicate with potential donors and the public, is an invaluable primary source for anyone doing research on the history of Berry or education or philanthropy in Georgia in the first half of the twentieth century. The time frame of 1943-1966 includes the transitional period after Martha Berry’s passing, the impact of World War II on the school, the school’s fostering of liberal arts education and professional programs, earning accreditation by Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and expanding recruitment to urban, non-traditional, and commuter students.

 

  • Georgia State University (Atlanta, Ga.) – Digitization of the Mike Maloney Out TV Collection (1999-2000). Out TV Atlanta, a half-hour weekly news and entertainment show focused on LGBTQ life, ran from 1999-2000. The brainchild of Michael B. Maloney, the show was supported financially by Maloney’s family and friends. Maloney used his funds to purchase air time, and Out TV aired in Atlanta and Savannah. Its reporters (most of whom were volunteers) included Rob Martin, Leane Reed and Terence Steele. As producer of the show, Maloney saw that most of the coverage of LGBTQ life involved night clubs and drag queens, and he wanted to focus on “ordinary” gay people who were firefighters, attorneys, and regular members of the community. Issues covered include Governor Roy Barnes’ address to an Atlanta gay professional organization (the first in the state), and the first Gay Pride Parade in Savannah.

 

  • Oconee Regional Library (Dublin, Ga.) – Digitization and description of teacher’s monthly reports from 37 of the African American rural and city schools in operation during the 1930s in Laurens County, Georgia. The reports were created by individual teachers for submission to the Laurens County Superintendent, and list student names, ages, grade levels, and attendance for the month. Many of these records also display teacher’s salaries, addresses, and other information. These resources are of significant value to family and local historians given that much African American educational history was not recorded or recounted elsewhere. Genealogists will appreciate the listing of children by name and age.
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