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.

Juliette Gordon Low travel journal available online

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is pleased to announce the availability of Juliette Gordon Low’s 1908 India travel correspondence at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/CollectionsA-Z/jglowc_search.html. The collection, Juliette Gordon Low Correspondence, Series India Letters, belongs to Girl Scouts of the USA and is housed at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. It is 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.

Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts of the USA; her 18-year-old niece Elizabeth Parker; and another friend, Grace Carter, traveled throughout northern India and parts of what is now Pakistan in 1908. Low wrote letters to her family describing her experiences and impressions and, using carbon paper, copied the pages into a journal. Her accounts document visits to Madurai, Madras, Calcutta, Benares, Lahore, Delhi, and Bombay. Low’s work is an excellent example of an early 20th-century woman’s travel journal. Few American women journeyed to present-day Pakistan and India as the founder of the country’s largest girls’ leadership organization and her companions did, unaccompanied by men. Low recorded their progress as they traveled to sites that included the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the Shalimar Gardens, the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan’s Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, the site of the 1857 Indian Rebellion, the Qutub Minar, and the Tughlaqabad Fort ruins. She described the difficulty of making travel arrangements and wrote detailed descriptions about food, culture, festivals, shopping, animals, and art. The women met with Princess Bamba Jindan Singh, the explorer Sir Francis Younghusband, and numerous British army officers.

Stacy A. Cordery, professor in the Department of History at Iowa State University, and biographer of Juliette Gordon Low states: “Juliette Gordon Low’s India travel diary was essential to the writing of my biography of Low, and I thought at the time that it deserved publication on its own because of the breadth and importance of the topics covered. It would be a terrific boon to scholars and the interested public (including school children) should this diary be digitized and available. Among other things, it would help to bring more attention to one of Georgia’s most famous citizens.”

Until now, the letters have only been accessible to researchers able to travel to view them in person. Digitization will make the materials available to a wider audience, potentially including users such as students studying Low as part of their curriculum, graduate students, art historians, tourism professionals, Asian studies scholars, historians, history enthusiasts, and girls and women associated with Girl Scouting. Low’s significance to Georgia history is evidenced by her inclusion in the state’s second-grade curriculum. Low recognized the need to train girls to have courage, confidence, and character, and these letters demonstrate this. The letters also present her as a multi-dimensional woman with prejudices reflective of her era and upbringing. The collection of letters is an important initial collaboration between the Digital Library of Georgia and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) as GSUSA seeks to make its cultural assets more widely available.


About the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, a historic site owned and operated by Girl Scouts of the USA for more than 60 years, is filled with rich stories, special collections, and opportunities for unique experiences reflecting the arc of Juliette Gordon Low’s life.

The birthplace celebrates Juliette’s belief in the potential of every girl, and the remarkable, Girl Scout Movement she founded–a Movement that changed, and continues to change, the world.

With funds raised in part by Girl Scouts around the nation, GSUSA purchased the property in 1953, and has responsibly stewarded it for more than 60 years, earning numerous awards for exemplary historic preservation.

Today the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its contribution to the social, cultural, and philanthropic history of the United States.


About Girl Scouts of the USA

We’re 2.6 million strong–1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscouts.org.


About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ 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.