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First Lady To Visit Archives

Join First Lady Sandra Deal on Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 10-11 a.m. at the Georgia Archives for lectures and a book signing. The First Lady will be joined by her co-authors Dr. Jennifer W. Dickey and Dr. Catherine M. Lewis. The book discusses the history and mystique of the Greek Revival mansion, home to governors since 1968, as well as its grand collection of Federal period furnishings and decorative arts. Those who plan to attend should RSVP to The Archives is located at 5800 Jonesboro Road in Morrow.

Below is a link to the invitation:


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New Research Material Added To Georgia Archives Website

The Georgia Archives announced today that all documents relating to the Names portion of File II are now online.

Genealogists and historians will recognize this important resource. Original documents indexed in the file are the most-often pulled for viewing by genealogists at the Archives, according to Archivist Steve Engerrand. Putting scans online will reduce handling of many fragile items.

Following is the description from the Archives Website:

File II is an artificial record series created by Georgia Archives staff beginning in the 1930s and arranged for easy alphabetical access by personal name to Archives records. The series includes: original documents removed from their government record series; typed transcripts of original documents made during WPA transcription projects during the late 1930s and early 1940s; Archives reference correspondence; clippings; and printed secondary research material.

This online collection includes only images of the original documents and transcripts. Because of the size of the collection, reference correspondence and secondary research material are not included.

Source location was not cited in File II. Original documents were removed from their context and all evidence of provenance has been lost. The collection includes correspondence to and from early governors, administrators and legislators and is particularly strong in antebellum Georgia records. Passports through Indian territory issued by Georgia governors are also filed here.

File II also has a number of segments that have not yet been scanned including pre-1800 File II, File II subjects, and File II Counties.

Funding for this online collection was provided by the R.J. Taylor, Jr., Foundation.

Vivian Price Saffold

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Legislative Session Should Be Good For Archives

This time last year Georgia Archives supporters were working hard to get much-needed funds back into the budget.

What a difference a year makes.

The 2013 Georgia legislature restored some funds, allowing the Archives to open four days a week. The Archives also was able to hire three new employees: a conservator, Kimberly Norman, most recently at Emory University; and two archivists, Allison Hudgins, most recently at the Cobb County Public Library System; and Jill Sweetapple, most recently at the DeKalb History Center.

Gov. Nathan Deal recently released his budget requests for Fiscal Year 2015.

The governor requested an increase of $476,041 for operating the Archives. The sum includes $460,000 to allow the Archives to open to the public five days a week and to hire six additional employees. The remaining funds would be used for adjustments to employees’ retirement, insurance and salaries.

In addition, the governor recommended an expenditure of $957,910 for maintenance of the Archives building. Archives director Christopher Davidson said he did not know whether the sum was a one-time expenditure to “catch up” with maintenance or an annual amount. He said the money would be used for energy and labor-saving measures, such as replacing outdated lighting.

The director said he anticipated that some of the funding would be appropriated through amended the FY14 budget and some included in the FY15 budget.

The budget still must go through the legislative process, which generally does not end until near the end of the session.

In his report, the governor stated that the purpose of the appropriation is “to maintain the state’s archives; document and interpret the history of the Georgia State Capitol building; and assist state agencies with adequately documenting their activities, administering their records management programs, scheduling their records, and transferring their non-current records to the State Records Center.”

The situation at the Archives will improve in the coming months, thanks in large part to the diligent actions of Archives supporters. However, everyone knows what can happen if advocates forget.

Contact your legislators at least once during this session, just to let them know we are still watching. Thank the lawmakers, Gov. Deal and the Board of Regents for their support. They will be watching, too. Now that the Archives will be open five days a week, it is important that researchers use the facility we all have worked so hard to save.

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Archives Needs More Researchers

This time last year the Georgia Archives needed the help of everyone who researches Georgia history and genealogy.

Thanks to the people of Georgia and around the world, the Archives has come light years in one short year. From the brink of closure to extra budget and extra public hours, the transformation has been dramatic.

The Archives is now open to the public four days a week – Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Experts in Georgia history and genealogy are on hand to help. Additional staff has been hired. The permanent history exhibit, closed since last October, is now open again.

However, the budget challenges likely will never end.

The Archives needs your help again. The Archives needs researchers to visit the facility in Morrow. The Archives is now a part of the University System of Georgia. Officials of the USG and state lawmakers are monitoring Archives usage numbers in preparation for budget negotiations during the upcoming legislative session.

Responding to the need has mutually beneficial results. Even with all the ever-growing online services, only a tiny percentage of available records is on the Internet. The key to knocking a hole in your Georgia genealogy brick wall is more likely to be at the Archives than anywhere else.

The Archives collection includes all kinds of county records, – tax digests, wills, estate inventories and deeds, just to name a few – as well as books, manuscripts, personal papers and much more.

Plan a trip to the Georgia Archives today. The Archives will benefit. You will, too.

For more information on the Archives, visit Help in planning a visit can be found here:

Please note that the Web site currently is undergoing renovation due to the shift from the Secretary of State to the University System.

Vivian Price Saffold

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Georgia Archives and Genealogy Day

Georgia Archives and Genealogy Day will be held at the Georgia Archives on Saturday, Oct. 19. Admission is free, and no reservations are required. No lunch will be served.

The Georgia Archives is located at 5800 Jonesboro Road in Morrow.

Following is the schedule of talks:

9 a.m. — Preservation of Documents. Ann Frellsen, sponsored by SouthEast Regional Conservation Association  

10 a.m. —  Order in the Court: Genealogy at the Courthouse.  Susan Sloan, sponsored by Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Metro Atlanta Chapter

11 a.m. —  Taylor Grants: Transcribe Records—Make Money.  Vivian Price Saffold, sponsored by R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation

Noon —  Georgia’s Property Tax Digests and the Genealogist.  Joanne Smalley, sponsored by Georgia Genealogy Society

1 p.m. —  Changes in Genealogy Help Us Find the Same Old Ancestors. Kenneth H. Thomas, Jr., sponsored by Friends of Georgia Archives and History

2 p.m.  Current Events, Future Archives: The Role of SGA and GAM in Raising Awareness of Archives in Georgia. Courtney Chartier and Carol Waggoner-Angleton, sponsored by Society of Georgia Archivists

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Archives Month Proclamation Signing

Can you believe it has been a year since we all gathered at the state capitol for the signing of the 2012 Georgia Archives Month proclamation?

Last year Georgia Archives supporters had just learned of Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s plan to close the Archives to the public. Hundreds of angry people showed up at the governor’s proclamation signing event to protest the proposed closing.

Just as many people should show up this year, not to protest, but to thank Gov. Nathan Deal for his role in getting the Archives back on its feet — and to remind him that we will be diligent in supporting this great institution in the future.

The Georgia Archives Month proclamation signing is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 10. Attendees should gather in the governor’s office, Room 203 at the state capitol, at 10 a.m.

The number of people allowed to participate in the actual taking of the ceremonial photograph will be limited.

For more information on parking and directions:
Vivian Price Saffold


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It’s Official… The Archives is Part of the University System

With the signing this afternoon by Gov. Nathan Deal of House Bill 287, the Georgia Archives officially moves to the University System of Georgia.

About two dozen Archives supporters, including several members of the Georgia Genealogical Society, attended the signing. Among the attendees was Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-150) from Dublin, who was the principal author of the bill and an avid supporter of the Archives during the 2013 legislative session.

After the short ceremony, people left the governor’s office to make way for the next signing, stopping to chat and say their good-byes on the way out of the capitol.

They were greeted with a surprise when they exited the capitol. All alone, walking around the capitol, was Morrow Mayor J. B. Burke. The mayor, a great friend of the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Genealogical Society, was carrying a sign thanking the governor and Archives advocates for their support in making the transition a reality. “This is a great day for Georgia,” exclaimed.

His unexpected one-man parade served as a perfect exclamation point on a hopeful day for the Georgia Archives.

Vivian Price Saffold

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A New Beginning… Bill Signing Scheduled

Gov. Nathan Deal will sign House Bill 287 on Monday, May 6 at 1:30 p.m. in the governor’s office at the state capitol.

The bill transfers the Georgia Archives to the University System of Georgia from the Georgia Secretary of State.

Anyone who is interested may gather in the governor’s office. Of course, not all of us will be invited into the inner office for the official signing and photograph, but we certainly can be there.

I know it’s short notice, but it would be great to see all those same stalwart volunteers who filled the governor’s office last fall back again… this time to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Vivian Price Saffold

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