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 Digital Library of Georgia has just made the Lee County Library Local History Collection available freely online. The collection contains essential historic print items belonging to the Lee County Library in Leesburg, Georgia dating from 1784-2000. Among the materials are local and regional Baptist and Methodist church histories, histories of the historic towns of Smithville and Starkville, Lee County oral histories, and documentation of the Great Flood of 1994 caused by Tropical Storm Alberto that caused significant damage in Southwest Georgia.
Bobbie Yandell, Director of Archives at the Thronateeska Heritage Center in Albany, Georgia notes:
“The church histories, as well as the histories of Smithville and Starkville provide important information to early life in Lee County. These resources describe the roots of the county as well as the citizens that resided in it. The materials concerning the Flood of 1994 display how our communities came together in a time of disaster. They show what our community is capable of when a collective effort to come together is mad. It is important that future generations are able to revisit these histories in order to both honor and remember what has been achieved by those who came before us.”
Yandell continues: “Lee County has a rich local history which mostly resides in physical materials. The fear of degradation is a threatening reality for the collection. With assistance from the Digital Library of Georgia, digital preservation allows these materials to be used for generations to come, In my efforts, I have found that small towns frequently suffer from their histories disappearing or being forgotten. It gives me hope that methods such as digitization exist so that rural histories may persist and be remembered.”
About the Lee County Library
The Lee County Library is a public library serving the Lee County, Georgia area. Learn more on their website at leecountylibrary.org/.