Enhanced description of Georgia town films and home movies digitized by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection now available

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is pleased to announce the availability of Georgia town films and home movies digitized by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection (BMA). The Georgia Town Films Collection is available at https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/ugabma_bmatf and the Georgia Home and Amateur Movies collection is available at https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/ugabma_bmahm.

DLG staff provided enhanced description of these moving image resources that enables users to locate segments of the moving image footage without having to view the footage in its entirety.

The BMA digitized 126 home movies and 5 town films from Georgia, but did not have the cataloging staff available to create fuller, richer representations of this content unique to Georgia and Georgians. Providing the broadest access for this content demanded more robust description. DLG staff provided shot lists, and, through the use of the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), have provided users with word-level search capability and a time-correlated description that connects the text search term to the corresponding moment in the moving image footage. DLG staff also assigned Library of Congress subject headings to each of the films so that librarians and researchers can locate relevant information without having to refer to various versions of names or keywords.

Items in the Georgia Town Films Collection include films covering the towns of Fitzgerald, Bowman, and Athens. Items in the Georgia Home and Amateur Movies digital collection include a film from the Pebble Hill Plantation film collection that contains footage of African Americans playing baseball in Thomasville, Georgia in their plantation uniforms; a film from the Kaliska-Greenblatt home movie collection that includes a parade honoring Bobby Jones in 1930 on Peachtree Street in Atlanta; a film from the Joseph and Marion Rossiter home movie collection that shows a 1950 St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah; and a film from the Newman Family home movie collection that shows congressman John F. Kennedy at the airport in LaGrange campaigning to become President of the United States.

Ruta Abolins, director of the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection notes: “Georgia home movies and town films document everyday rituals, ceremonies, and behavior, and demonstrate how people really lived.  Home movies and town films have been used by history, art, drama, and storytelling classes at the University of Georgia, and they have been viewed and used by documentary filmmakers and writers. Describing these films marking local history can be challenging but making them more widely available via the Digital Library of Georgia  and DPLA will make them even more accessible to the people of Georgia and beyond who will have access to the regular everyday life of people who made their own movies.”


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

The Walter J. Brown Media Archive & Peabody Awards Collection was started in 1995 and currently preserves over 300,000 titles in film, video, audiotape, transcription disks, and other recording formats dating from the 1920s to the present. Our 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.

About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia https://dlg.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.

 

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Unique Partnership Captures Athens’ Music and Art Scene from the 1980s Onwards

A goldmine has been excavated here in Athens—not the orange metal that decorates the lairs of the incredibly rich and presidential, trust me, but the rich loam of irreplaceable local history. Thanks to the efforts of UGA’s Digital Library of Georgia project and the hard work of the Athens-Clarke County Library staff, 25 years of Flagpole’s lost archives have been recovered and made available to everybody for free.

Cover of the inaugural issue of Flagpole,
Cover of the inaugural issue of Flagpole, “Colorbearer of Athens Alternative Music,” October 1, 1987.

We all tend to believe, in spite of our own crashes and losses, that digital is forever, that the digits will remain long after the printed paper has crumbled. Ha. Dream on. In the late ‘90s, while backing up our main computer, our resident technical expert (to remain nameless here) lost the first decade of Flagpole issues. Wiped out. Gone. The UGA library had microfilm, and we had paper copies, but there was no database online and no searchable files anywhere, except thumbing through back issues, looking for something.

Then, around 10 years later, it happened again. Our homemade website turned out to have inadequate protection and got hacked (the Russians?). We had to take it down, and along with it went the archives we had built up since the last catastrophe. Flagpole was lobotomized.

Since that time we have hired various programmers and companies who promised to reestablish our archives, but nobody has been able to deliver—nobody, that is, until the Digital Library of Georgia, hand-in-hand with the Athens-Clarke County Library, swooped in like Superman and Wonder Woman to restore Flagpole’s memory banks.

The library’s Heritage Room staff, with their stalwart interns using a high-speed copier, went through each issue of Flagpole page-by-page and shot digital images from their microfilm. When that laborious part of the project was finally completed, the Digital Library of Georgia over at the UGA libraries, created the searchable database and put it online.

Meanwhile, our own online archives have been rebuilt back through 2013 and are searchable issue by issue on our website, sort of.

You can search the whole Digital Library Flagpole site from 1987 through 2012. Type in R.E.M. and immediately get 181 articles … What fun! You can watch as Flagpole progresses through the years from a harum-scarum, slapped-together weekly music rag into a finely-tuned, professionally produced, seriously written harum-scarum weekly music rag.

This database is of inestimable value to people wanting to write about Athens, to explore local history, or to relive their youth. It’s all here, a rabbit hole just waiting for you to go down it. Research your favorite band. See what bad stuff we wrote about local politicians. Delve into the history, the music, the people who have made the news during the 25 years from 1987 to 2012 and more recently in our own archives. Flagpole has been at the center of our community life for the last 30 years, and now, thanks to the Digital Library of Georgia, we can all remember where we’ve been.

Pete McCommons, editor, Flagpole magazine, January 17, 2018, http://flagpole.com/news/pub-notes/2018/01/17/the-digital-library-of-georgia-uploads-flagpole-s-archives. Reprinted with permission.

 

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