Archives with Georgia State University

In the heart of the city of Atlanta, Georgia is Georgia State University with its Library Digital Collections. It has online a variety of manuscripts, photos, documents and records for anyone with family ties to the Atlanta and surrounding areas. Many resources also apply to anywhere in Georgia.

One of the best collections are the photos from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution newspaper. Here in digital format are some five million photos taken by the newspaper mostly between 1950 and 1990. However, the best part, there are also many images from decades earlier. There is an image from 1896 of a horse-drawn ambulance, scenes from Fort Benning back to World War I and II, to Whitehall Street around 1910.

Using the search for anyone of the collections can help narrow down your search. On the Atlanta-Journal Constitution newspaper collection search by a surname, a street name, building or year.

Another great photo collection is the Lane Brothers Collection, who were commercial photographers. Here are 258,100 images ranging from the 1920s to 1976. The variety of photos include portraits, businesses (such as AT&T, Atlanta Gas Light Company, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines and Rich’s) street scenes, events, World War II activities in Georgia, sports and disasters.

Oral histories are an excellent source and in the GA State Archives is the Johnny Mercer Oral History Project with 23 completed histories.

Since the effect of radio on individuals for their news, sports and entertainment the ‘Broadcasting Collections’ are interesting to review. There are 599 pieces to this collection, ranging from radio talk shows, advertisements, symphony productions, to interviews with celebrities. Most of these are in the form of photographs. Each image does enlarge and there is a description.

With about 27 individual collections there is plenty of topics to review if you have Atlanta and Georgia ancestors.

Photo: Baseball’s famous Babe Ruth in Atlanta, GA in the 1940s.

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