The collection contains historical materials dating from 1850 to 2022 that come from a diverse group of Jewish creators, including youth, women, clergy, fraternities, and congregations that offer unique insights into the greater Augusta, Georgia region’s Jewish life, philanthropy, foodways, and experiences.
Rabbi David Sirull of the Adas Yeshurun Synagogue in Augusta emphasizes the importance of making this work accessible freely online.
“It is important that we remember our place in history as we move to the future. The Augusta Jewish Museum allows for valuable content to be procured, preserved, and disseminated that tells the story of Jewish heritage in the Central Savannah River Area that encompasses the Augusta, Georgia area…This content is invaluable to researchers in defining the ways of Jewish life in the Southeast.”
About the Augusta Jewish Museum
The Augusta Jewish Museum and its programming chronicle the life, history, and contributions of the Jewish community in the Central Savannah River Area. The museum also educates about Jewish traditions, remembering the Holocaust, and Israel–the land and its people. Their website is: https://www.augustajewishmuseum.org/.
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 by developing, maintaining, and preserving 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. Visit the DLG at dlg.usg.edu.
The names of enslaved church members may be found inside this collection. It’s possible that these are the sole documents proving that some of these people actually existed. There are also records of famous academics and politicians who lived in Oglethorpe County, Georgia.
Henry Newton grew up in Athens, Georgia, as a Presbyterian preacher. In 1841, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, and in 1845, he received his master’s degree from Columbia Theological Seminary. Newton preached to both enslaved and liberated African Americans throughout the state from 1845 to 1897 in several northeast Georgian churches.
These projects are the Columbia Theological Seminary’s second collaboration with the DLG.
Ashley Simpson, former president of the Athens Historical Society and Georgia historical marker researcher, describes the importance of having these materials available for research freely online:
“Digitization has allowed historians, genealogists, family researchers, and the merely curious to see and use records without harming the originals.
During COVID, we discovered that we could all work with the digitized manuscript simultaneously by working remotely.
Access to digital copies of original documents permits some claims to be verified and some misinformation to be disproven.
Granting digital access to the Henry Newton papers and the Lexington Presbyterian Church records facilitates a greater understanding of daily life and the rich historical background of northeast Georgia. ”
Columbia Theological Seminary exists to educate and nurture faithful, imaginative, and effective leaders for the sake of the church and the world. It is an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a community of theological inquiry, leadership development, and formation for ministry in the service of the church of Jesus Christ. Visit ctsnet.edu for more information.