Digital Library of Georgia collaborates with Georgia Humanities on a National History Day Georgia resource and awards

The Digital Library of Georgia has partnered with Georgia Humanities to create a National History Day Georgia resource and state contest special awards designed to engage middle school and high school students in historical research using DLG resources, and recognize the best examples of student work. These include:

  • National History Day Georgia Theme Topic Explorer
  • Source Recognition Digital Certificates
  • Outstanding Use of the Digital Library of Georgia Resources Special Award

National History Day Georgia Theme Topic Explorer

The DLG worked with Georgia Humanities on its National History Day Georgia Theme Topic Explorer. The Topic Explorer provides an interactive list of descriptions and sample resources connected to topics related to National History Day Georgia research themes. Breaking Barriers in History is the 2020 theme for National History Day.

The Topic Explorer includes the theme book for National History Day 2020, theme information, featured resources, a link to the NHD Georgia website, contextual information from the New Georgia Encyclopedia, and links to sample primary sources and introductions related to a group of suggested 2020 theme topics. 

The National History Day Georgia Theme Topic Explorer is available at georgiahumanities.org/2019/09/25/nhd-topic-explorer/

Source Recognition Digital Certificates and Outstanding Use of the Digital Library of Georgia Resources Special Award

The DLG will award Source Recognition digital certificates to NHD GA state contest participants who incorporate primary sources found in DLG’s portals in their project. DLG staff will confer the “Outstanding Use of the Digital Library of Georgia Resources” special award on exceptional junior individual, junior group, senior individual, and senior group projects.

The certificates will be distributed via email after the state contest held at LaGrange College on April 18, 2020. More information on applying for the digital certificate and the special awards will be available before the state contest.

About National History Day Georgia

National History Day (NHD) Georgia is a program of Georgia Humanities and LaGrange College. NHD encourages middle and high school students to engage more deeply in the historical process.

Over the course of the school year, students select a topic related to the year’s theme and develop their projects through extensive primary and secondary source research. The NHD theme for 2020 is Breaking Barriers in History.

Under the guidance of a sponsoring teacher, students choose both their subject matter and a vehicle to present their research within the following categories: documentary, exhibition, paper, performance, or website. NHD attracts thousands of participants each year.

Competitions occur at the regional, state, and national levels. The NHD Georgia State Contest host for 2020 is LaGrange College.

About Georgia Humanities

Founded in 1971, Georgia Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We collaborate with others to preserve and promote the rich cultural stories, treasures, and values of our state and its people. Our work nurtures Georgians’ understanding of ourselves and of our state’s place in history and in the world, and it fosters thoughtful and engaged citizenship. Visit Georgia Humanities at georgiahumanities.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 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. Visit the DLG at dlg.usg.edu.

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Foxfire Oral Histories, 2014

We are happy to announce a new partnership with the Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center, and to present a new collection of oral history interviews about Appalachian folk traditions and music,  Foxfire Oral Histories, 2014. The oral history interviews in this collection were conducted for Foxfire’s fiftieth anniversary book, which will be made available in 2016.

The Foxfire Fund grew out of a 1966 freshman English class project at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School to create Foxfire magazine, based on student interviews of community elders that documented the rich folk culture of Rabun County, Georgia. By 1972, the magazine was anthologized in books published by Doubleday. The Foxfire program was ultimately moved to Rabun County High School in 1977. Kaye Collins, a former Foxfire student, staff member, and now board member of the Foxfire Community Board and Foxfire Board of Directors informs us that “the students handle all aspects of the Foxfire magazine production. The best of those interviews are put in the Foxfire books.” Barry Stiles, curator of the Foxfire Museum, notes that “Foxfire students have been conducting interviews for almost fifty years now. It will be fifty years in 2016.”

Beyond its importance chronicling Southern Appalachia, the Foxfire Fund, Inc. has been instrumental in exposing the student-empowered, community-focused Foxfire Approach to Teaching and Learning to educators that investigates relationships between teachers, learners, and their curriculum. The Foxfire Approach has provided an integrative learning environment for students to study required material, to use their surrounding community as a resource to facilitate learning, and to connect their efforts to an audience beyond the classroom.

Collins’ favorite interviews in the Foxfire Oral Histories, 2014 collection are “all of them!” though she does specifically mention the interview with Beanie Ramey, a native of Tiger, Georgia, who recalls local history in Clayton County. Collins also admires Blairsville soapmakers T. J. and Jenny Stevens , who “are inspiring in their work ethic and lives,” states that master cornshuck doll maker Beth Kelley Zorbanos is “also a great philosopher,” and comments that folk artist Eric Legge “is an artist genius and has a great sense of humor!” Stiles, who has “a great fondness for the guitar” loves the interviews with bluegrass musician Curtis Blackwell (where Blackwell talks about learning to play guitar and playing with the Dixie Bluegrass Boys) and guitar maker Danny White (who discusses the wood and other material he uses to make different parts of the guitars, the merits of custom-built guitars over mass-produced ones and the difficulties in building mandolins).

We hope that you are able to take the time to enjoy these oral history interviews and experience the unique methods Foxfire has developed to preserve Southern Appalachian folk traditions, and to engage students with active learning opportunities outside of traditional teaching spaces.

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