Nineteenth-century ledger and scrapbook that documents the Civil War period in Savannah now available online

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is pleased to announce the availability of a nineteenth-century ledger and scrapbook from our partners at the Coastal Heritage Society that features entries from the the Civil War period recorded by employees of the Central Rail Road and Banking Company of Georgia, at https://dlg.usg.edu/collection/chso_cgrc. The ledger was digitized and described as part of the DLG’s 2018 Competitive Digitization grant program, a funding opportunity intended to broaden DLG partner participation for statewide historic digitization projects.

Lydia Moreton, the Curator of Collections for Coastal Heritage Society notes: “The Carpentry Shop ledger is a snapshot in time at one of the busiest industrial railroad complexes in the South just prior to and during the American Civil War. It is a highly prized object in the Coastal Heritage Society collection. This ledger has detailed information spanning four years at the Carpentry Shop in the Central’s Savannah Shops. This includes fabricating weapons for the war effort and construction of the Passenger Shed which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.”

The ledger/scrapbook spans from 1860 to 1864 (for the ledger) and the 1870s to the 1890s (for the scrapbook). Sections of the ledger record the tasks of white employees and laborers and enslaved people providing a snapshot in time at one of the busiest industrial railroad complexes in the South just prior to and during the American Civil War. The scrapbook portions of the book feature assorted newspaper clippings from the 1870s to the 1890s that include popular poetry, illustrations, and newspaper articles related to love, death, murder trials, funerals, and topics surrounding bereavement.

Rita Elliott, Education Coordinator and Research Associate at the Lamar Institute in Rincon, Georgia states: “The many types of history the ledger contains make it a unique source for multiple audiences. It can provide content for exhibit design, public outreach programming, history books, and 6-12th grade curricula. Exhibit designers and public outreach professionals will delight in the historical script reflective of important historical themes. History scholars as well as graduate students will find it a potent source to mine for their specific research interests. Railroad buffs will be fascinated with the information it contains. Teachers can benefit from a unique primary document to use in their curricula.”

About the Coastal Heritage Society (Savannah, Ga.)

The mission of Coastal Heritage Society is to provide educational experiences for the public through the preservation and presentation of the historic resources of coastal Georgia and adjacent regions. Coastal Heritage Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1975 which operates five historic museums for visitors to explore. These include the Georgia State Railroad Museum, the Savannah Children’s Museum, the Savannah History Museum, Old Fort Jackson, and the Pin Point Heritage Museum. Visit the Coastal Heritage Society at http://www.chsgeorgia.org/

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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Augusta-Richmond County Public Library and Coastal Heritage Society receive Competitive Digitization grants from the DLG

  • The Augusta-Richmond County Public Library and Coastal Heritage Society are recipients of the third 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.Preference in the selection process was given to proposals from institutions that had not yet collaborated with the DLG. The Coastal Heritage Society is a new partner for the DLG.

    The recipients and their projects include:

  • Augusta-Richmond County Public Library (Augusta, Ga.)

Digitization and delivery of the Augusta Chinese-American Oral History Project, which includes twenty-six oral history interviews of individuals who either immigrated to Augusta from China, and/or grew up in Augusta during the early to the middle twentieth century. The interviews were gathered in 2011 and 2012 by members of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association of Augusta (CCBA). Anyone interested in studying immigration, minority cultures, economic history, race relations, or the establishment of Chinese-American organizations in the South will find the interviews informative.

  • Coastal Heritage Society (Savannah, Ga.)

Digitization and delivery of a Civil War period ledger spanning the years 1860 to 1864 that documents work conducted at the Carpentry Shop, within the Savannah Shops complex of the Central Rail Road and Banking Company of Georgia. Sections of the ledger record the tasks of specific workers, including employees, laborers, and African American workers. The Carpentry Shop ledger is a snapshot in time at one of the busiest industrial railroad complexes in the South just prior to and during the American Civil War.

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 the Chinese-American community in Augusta and Georgia’s railroads during the Civil War and will be of interest to a wide audience.”

About the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System

The Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System (ARCPLS) is a public library system serving more than 250,000 county residents. As a member of Public Information Network for Electronic Services (PINES), a program of the Georgia Public Library Service covering 53 library systems in 143 Georgia counties, ARCPLS supports any resident in the PINES network and provides access to over 10 million books. ARCPLS has a collection size of over 316,000 with a circulation of more than 478,000 annually. ARCPLS facilitates programs and classes to educate and entertain all ages at no cost. In addition to being a vital meeting place where the community can gather, explore new worlds, and share ideas and values, ARCPLS is a community hub and a critical anchor for our residents and neighbors. With a committed and diverse staff, ARCPLS continues to bring innovative and adaptive information and technology to its patrons.

About the Coastal Heritage Society (Savannah, Ga.)

The mission of Coastal Heritage Society is to provide educational experiences for the public through the preservation and presentation of the historic resources of coastal Georgia and adjacent regions. Coastal Heritage Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation founded in 1975 which operates five historic museums for visitors to explore. These include the Georgia State Railroad Museum, the Savannah Children’s Museum, the Savannah History Museum, Old Fort Jackson, and the Pin Point Heritage Museum.

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