Monday, July 14, 2014

Memorex: Adventures in Unusual Formats

As 1974 was drawing to a close, Powell A. Moore wrote a letter to President Gerald Ford resigning from his post as Deputy Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Moore had been a so-called “Nixon leftover,” having stayed on after Ford entered office. Perhaps he was following standard protocol or perhaps he wanted to use the latest technology, but Moore’s decision to use a Memorex magnetic card as the media to preserve the letter he had written to the President presented me with my first encounter with this piece of 1970s technology while processing the Powell A. Moore Papers during my internship this summer.

A Memorex memory card containing Powell Moore's letter resigning from the
Ford administration.

So what exactly is a magnetic card? To me it looks like a piece of undeveloped film or microfilm without any images, except in the shape and size of a punch card minus the punches. (Without “Powell’s Resignation letter to the President” written on the self-proclaimed “Flexible Folder” in which the magnetic card was enclosed, I would have had no idea what content it contained.) According to the promotional material I discovered online, Memorex released a new “writable surface” magnetic card for use with IBM’s second generation Mag Card II, Mag Card Selectric, and Mag Card Executive typewriters in early 1974. So in order to understand what properties this card has, I needed to look at how the equipment transferred information to and retrieved information from this magnetic card.

All of IBM’s Mag Card typewriters stored information on magnetic cards and had the ability to erase errors by backspacing and typing over the error, automatically saving the new data to the card. New content could be inserted into the text by only typing the changes; what is already stored will appear without the need to retype it. Editing and revising the document happens on the card, not on the sheet of paper. But unlike later word processing typewriters, there was no screen; your only frame of reference was your paper. You had buttons to help you navigate by paragraph, line, and word to get to the location where the correction was to be made. Once errors were corrected and your draft finalized, the typewriter typed your document automatically from the information stored on the card at a rate much faster than even the most skilled typist could type.

It is not possible to tell which type of IBM typewriter Moore used to prepare his letter by examining the magnetic card alone. And the Russell Library does not have the typewriter that could tell us if the card is still viable. In large part because of the cost – the Mag Card II Typewriter was priced at $11,000 in 1973 -- the typewriters and card reader systems would have been restricted to use in an office environment. And the typewriters were never produced on the scale that personal computers came to be, making the format even more obsolete than the floppy disk.

Moore’s position with the federal government led to the creation of a record on this technological format. Had he not used a Memorex magnetic card to preserve his resignation letter, I would not have learned about this small technological current that rose and crested in the 1970s.

Post by Mark Walters, Political Papers Processing Intern
Mark Walters, Russell Library summer intern.

Friday, May 30, 2014

"The Right Leadership at the Top:” The Records of the Georgia Republican Party Chairman

Note: In February of this year, the Russell Library embarked on a one-year project to process the records of the Democratic Party of Georgia (Georgia Democrats) and the Georgia Republican Party (GAGOP), funded by a generous grant of up to $58,777 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). In her second blog post for the project, archivist Angelica Marini highlights the role of Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and the records that illustrate the Chairman’s influence.

In 1995, Rusty Paul, fresh off stints in the federal government, took part in a competitive race for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. His campaign literature promoted grassroots activism, political training, and how, as Chairman, he would lead the party to “the next plateau” as “the right leadership at the top.” This statement speaks volumes about how the party viewed itself as an organization at the time. And the records of the Georgia Republican Party show a political organization dedicated to grassroots political action and local politics in the 1990s, but also one that favored top-down, business-style leadership. In particular, the Administrative and Political series in the GAGOP Records provide a unique view of how the party transformed with the election of new executive officers and their appointed administrative staffs and reflect important changes in grassroots leadership, management styles, and fundraising and finance.

The Administrative series contains files of the men who served as Chairman from 1980 to 1998: Bob Bell (1983-1985), Paul Coverdell (1985-1987), John Stuckey (1987-1989), Alec Poitevint (1989-1993), Billy Lovett (1993-1995), and Rusty Paul (1995-1999). (Sue Everhart, the first woman to be elected to this important leadership role, served two terms from 2009 to 2013.) These files contain correspondence, memos, publicity releases, meeting minutes, and major reports and political plans. Additional materials in the Political series consist of candidate and issue research files, convention materials, and district and county files. Taken together, these records offer researchers countless insights into the political leadership, organization, and focus of individual Chairmen and their staffs.

The records of Alec Poitevint, for example, reflect a Chairman who was involved in nearly every aspect of party management. Records from Billy Lovett’s administration are interspersed with the records of the political director, implying a leader who was directly involved with and focused on campaigns. In contrast, the records of Rusty Paul’s chairmanship show a significant redevelopment of planning and political direction for the party as a whole.

Delegate tallies hurriedly scrawled on an Alec
Poitevint bio sheet reflect the quickly changing
fortunes in a chairman's campaign.
The 2013 Rules of the Georgia Republican Party outline the duties of the State Party Chairman and stress the importance of this position. He is the “Chief Executive Officer, chairman of the State Committee, chairman of the State Executive Committee and spokesman of the GRP.” (Rules of the Georgia Republican Party, 2013) He convenes and presides at the State Committee meetings and conventions, and he appoints committees and the positions of General Counsel, Finance Chairman, and other members of the state party staff. While the State Chairman is obligated to appoint individuals to committees and carry out the administrative business of the party, he is also asked to be a “spokesman of the GRP.” Being a spokesman for the Georgia Republican Party includes leading the party in a general direction and providing a solid political plan.

The Georgia Republican Party elects its Chairman at state party conventions held every two years in odd number years. Some of the election cycles for the Chairman position could be quite competitive. Rusty Paul was first elected at the 1995 convention dynamic and remembered it as raucous and fun. He recalled a dynamic convention atmosphere and an election that required a lot of movement; Paul said that “the whole process of watching a convention and how it functioned; it’s not like an election. I mean there’s the ebb and flow of support back and forth. And, you know, you’re on your walkie-talkie listening and you say, well, the delegation in this area has got some questions and you hustle over there to answer questions.”  (Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 121 Rusty Paul) The elections were often highly competitive as the party grew in size and political strength.

Some conventions could be raucous and fun, but Georgia Republicans at the 1989 state convention were still dealing with political divisions caused by the Republican presidential nominating conventions. In 1988, supporters of religious conservative candidate Pat Robertson threatened to derail the Georgia convention over the presidential nomination. In 1989 delegates at the state party convention were still factionalized and it took four ballots to elect Chairman Alec Poitevint. Files from the convention in Poitevint’s records illustrate how close the election for Chairman was that year; numerous typed and handwritten vote counts taken throughout the convention recorded various election possibilities. A number of convention materials, like the biographical information about Poitevint, have delegate tallies scrawled on them. These recorded vote counts reflect the immediate political campaigning that Rusty Paul described in his interview. As candidates dropped out of the race Poitevint and his team were able to tally up more supporters as delegate votes swung to those still in the race.

In the 1990s Republicans in Georgia experienced very real change in their political landscape. Redistricting based on the 1990 census reflected an explosion in suburban growth in Georgia, a population that largely voted Republican. In 1992 and 1994 Republicans had enormous electoral successes.  As the Georgia Republican Party grew, the state conventions also grew in size and scope. At the 1995 state convention in Savannah -- the first Georgia GOP convention to attract lobbyists -- the growing pains of the party were apparent and the competition for the chairmanship was keen. Candidates that year represented old and new Georgia Republicans -- Christian conservatives, the state party establishment, an expanded base of suburban voters, and newly Republican rural voters.

In that hotly contested 1995 election for Chairman, top candidates had garnered statewide media attention by accusing each other of dirty tricks. Of the four candidates running for the position, Rusty Paul was the perceived outsider and underdog. Paul had plenty of political experience, though. He managed Jack Kemp’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988 and served as a Bush appointee in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the early 1990s. He didn’t think he would win but thought running would be a good way to get back into state politics.

"Rusty's Contract With The GOP" makes the
case for Paul as the party's next Chairman.
“The way we would select a chairman of the Republican Party,” Paul explains, “is different than any other office. I mean, you run around the state like you’re a statewide candidate but instead of talking to voters you’re talking to people who are likely to be the delegates to their local conventions. Whether it’s their precinct caucus, or their county convention, their congressional district convention, and then the state convention.”  (Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 121 Rusty Paul) Paul’s commitment to running for the office of Chairman was in part what got him elected. His distance from perceived problems in the state party, his experience managing political campaigns, and his political plan for the party made him an appealing choice. His campaign literature focused on making a positive impact on Georgia politics. Paul capitalized on recent Republican successes and pitched “Rusty’s Contract With the GOP,” a la Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract With America, in his campaign literature.

The Administrative and Political Series together shed light on the personal leadership styles of the individuals at the top of the party. As a result, these records provide researchers a fuller, more complex picture of the GAGOP as an organization.

Next up:  The role of the GAGOP’s Executive Director and the development of political plans…

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Choosing to Participate Exhibit Opens May 2nd

A new exhibit intended to inspire people of all ages to create positive social change, Choosing to Participate, opens May 2, 2014 at the Richard B. Russell Library Gallery on the University of Georgia campus.

A set of 11 graphically compelling posters developed by The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the educational organization Facing History and Ourselves serves as the core of the exhibit. The graphics present the experiences of individuals and communities, explore the impact of cultural differences, and encourage viewers to consider the consequences of everyday choices—to discover how “little things are big”—and to make a difference in their own communities. A companion website features a host of resources for teachers, families, and communities: 

Using the poster set as a framework, Russell Library student worker Sarah Hughes, a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in International Affairs, acted as curator and selected items from the Russell Library's archival holdings to highlight topics, events, and people that tie into the larger themes explored in the graphic panels. The combination of the graphics and primary resources is intended to encourage dialogue, engagement, respect, and participation among visitors. Choosing to Participate will remain on display at the Russell Library through August 30.

The poster set is being distributed at no cost to schools, libraries, museums, and community organizations through partnerships including Teaching Tolerance, Boys & Girls Club of America and the American Library Association. Special thanks to the Walmart Foundation, the national Sponsor of Choosing to Participate. Support for distribution to Teaching Tolerance made possible by the Malka Fund.

The Russell Library gallery is free and open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. For more information on the exhibit, email or call 706-542-5788.

Want a quick overview of the exhibit? Check out this introduction from our student curator, Sarah Hughes: 

Want a behind the scenes tour of the exhibit? Check out our interview clips with Sarah Hughes on her role as student curator and choices for the display on the Russell Library's SoundCloud page. Or use the QR code below!

Media and American Civil Liberties: A Multimedia Event @ Russell Library

What: "Media and American Civil Liberties: Moments in Time"
When: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 12-3 p.m.
Where: Room 271 Russell Special Collections Libraries Building  

Students enrolled in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication course "History of Mass Media in the United States" will present their semester-long projects from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in the auditorium of the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries. The event is open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Working in groups, students have studied eight moments in history when American liberties were either strengthened or diminished, and their reports will highlight media involvement in those important historical moments.

This project grew out of a University of Georgia Center for Teaching and Learning "Faculty Learning Community," and has been done in collaboration with the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries, including Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library; Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies; and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. Students have worked with Professor Janice Hume, and Archivists Jill Severn, Mary Miller, and Charles Barber.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Getting the Party Started: Processing the Records of Georgia's Political Parties

Note: In February of this year, the Russell Library embarked on a one-year project to process the records of the Democratic Party of Georgia (Georgia Democrats) and the Georgia Republican Party (GAGOP), funded by a generous grant of up to $58,777 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Because the records will not be open for research for several months, project archivist Angelica Marini will be providing a series of short articles throughout the year highlighting various aspects of the records as she works to organize, describe and make them available. In this, her first blog post for the project, she underscores the value of the Georgia Republican Party Records as an important resource for studying the historic political realignment of the state in the second half of the twentieth century.

A small sampling of the GAGOP records awaiting processing.

Once available for research, the Georgia Republican Party Records will be one of the largest processed collections of official state Republican Party records in the country and the largest in the Southeast. Complementing the University of South Carolina’s Republican Party of South Carolina Papers and Auburn University’s Alabama Republican Party Records, the Georgia Republican Party Records, dating from 1975 to 1998, are a unique collection of administrative records, political files, financial and fundraising materials, and campaign files that will enable researchers to gain new insights into the dramatic political realignment of the South in the twentieth century.

In 1960 there were only two Republican members of the State House and just one Republican State Senator in Georgia. The Georgia Republican Party was politically weak and the state was dominated by the Democratic Party of Georgia. It was not until later in the second half of the twentieth century that Georgia was a truly modern two-party political system. The records reflect this historical development of the party as the bulk of materials date from the later period. While the Republican Party collections in South Carolina and Alabama contain materials from the 1920s, most of the materials date from this modern period, 1960 to 2000. The bulk of the South Carolina Republican Party records date from 1962 to 2001 and the records of the Alabama Republican Party date from 1960 to 1994. Likewise the Georgia Republican Party saw their most significant gains after 1980 and the bulk of the materials date from 1980 to 1996.

What kept the Georgia Republican party from power for so long? The explanation requires a look at the political history of the South. An alleged political deal between Democrats and Republicans in 1877 brokered the end of Reconstruction. The contested presidential election resulted in a compromise between the parties that allowed for Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes to be seated in return for the end of federal military intervention in the South. Over the next twenty-five years, all across the South, the Republican Party lost what limited power they held during Reconstruction. The historical legacy of Reconstruction affected the political growth of the Republican Party far beyond the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, though, as the Democratic Party dominated Southern politics until the 1960s.

The national Democratic Party started to change in the 1960s and broadly supported civil rights legislation and aligned with more liberal policies. The changes in national party platforms alienated conservative Southern Democrats and by the 1970s many Southern states were in the process of moving to a Republican majority. In Georgia, this regional political realignment was influenced additionally by migration to the state. Beginning in the 1950s, state politicians and policies promoted Georgia as a friendly place for business. Republicans increased their favor as they promoted themselves as the political party that stood for business interests. Georgia Republicans also recruited party members from transplanted Northern Republicans. The first Republican since Reconstruction to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate, Mack Mattingly (originally from Indiana), noted that “What they [the Democratic Party] didn’t understand back then were what we call ‘demographics.’ They did not understand that the demographics of Georgia had changed – your IBMers from Indiana, you know, everybody from all different places – it had changed.” (Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 014 Mack Mattingly) These changes made a real difference in the political strength of the Republican Party in Georgia. By 1997, the Republicans elected 79 members to the State House and 22 members to the State Senate. The last decades of the twentieth century saw the Republican Party become a major political power in the state and in 2002, Georgians elected their first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, Sonny Perdue.

The bulk of the Georgia Republican Party Records date from a period of substantial political growth for the party. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Republican Party emerged as a powerful political opponent to the Democrats. The records document the party’s administration by Party Chairmen and Executive Directors. Political files include research materials maintained by the political directors, state convention materials, and county and district files. Financial records reflect the growth of the party through fundraising and events. The campaign records contain strategic planning documents and statistical analysis of election results using the ORVIS program (Optimal Republican Voting Strength) adopted in the 1980s. These records are an invaluable source of information for anyone interested in researching the growth of the Georgia Republican Party during an important transitional period.

Post by Angelica Marini, Project Archivist, Russell Library

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Happy 225th Birthday, Congress!

The Russell Library joins its Association of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC) partner institutions across the nation to celebrate this landmark birthday during Congress Week 2014—April 1-7 with a week-long Twitter Fest focused on the forty-seven members of the U.S.  Congress and Senate representing Georgia who have placed their papers with the Russell Library.  The Twitter series is curated by Russell Library student assistants Sarah Hughes and Patrick Klibanoff and presents key moments from the careers of these Georgians.

The central goal of Congress Week is to foster the study of the United States House and Senate, and to promote a wider appreciation for the vital role the legislative branch plays in our representative democracy. Our celebration lauds its survival and its level of success over 225 years in finding ways to make representative democracy work.

Actually, the birth of Congress was not a single day event but a process of deliberation in the Federal Convention that met in the spring and summer of 1787. The Constitution provided for Congress to convene on March 4, 1789, and on that date, in New York City, the first meeting place of Congress, cannons fired and church bells rang to announce Congress's birth.

But only a few members had arrived on that date. Weeks passed before the House achieved its first quorum on April 1, with the Senate following five days later on April 6. Some members worried that the government would fail before it began. Fisher Ames of Massachusetts a member of the House, wrote "We lose credit, spirit, everything. The public will forget the government before it is born."

The fact that the House achieved its first quorum on April 1 was not lost on members then and will probably not be ignored today when we note that the first quorum was achieved on April Fool's Day. We could use a little humor as we contemplate the serious role Congress has played in shaping the long-range success of a mighty nation, whose Capitol is a symbol of freedom throughout the world.

In 2003, ACSC was founded as an independent alliance of institutions and organizations that support a wide range of programs designed to inform and educate students, scholars, policy-makers, and members of the general public on the history of Congress, legislative process, and current issues facing the United States Congress. ACSC encourages the preservation of material that documents the work of Congress, including the papers of representatives and senators, and supports programs that make those materials available for educational and research use.  The association also welcomes the participation of institutions and individuals committed to our goal of promoting a better understanding of Congress.

To experience the Georgians in Congress Twitter Fest, follow the Russell Library on Twitter: @RussellLibrary.  To find other congressional centers celebrating Congress Week on Twitter, search for the hashtag #CongressWeek

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sarah Goes to Sochi

My name is Sarah Hughes. I am a fourth year student at the University of Georgia studying international affairs. I work as a student research assistant at the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies. Thanks to a series of fortunate events and a family connection, I was afforded the opportunity to work as an intern for NBC at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. I spent six weeks there from early January to late February. During my time there and upon my return, I’ve been asked a lot about my feelings on the safety and security at the Games. So I’ve compiled some of my thoughts on the matter, and hopefully I’ve painted a clearer picture of Sochi for those who are reading this.

I’m not sure what I expected. When I got to Sochi, my bags were missing and there were very few people around who spoke enough English to help me. In those first couple of days, I thought my American stereotype of Russia had been right all along. The cab driver that took us to the grocery store disappeared, the hotel reception couldn’t understand me, and there was a police station right next to my hotel, reminding me that we were being watched all the time (a la USSR). But I couldn’t have been more wrong about my first impression of Russia and its people.  The longer I was there, the safer and more at home I felt. To be fair, working for NBC meant that I spent 95% of my time in the “media bubble,” so to speak. I left my media hotel in the morning, got on a media transport bus that took me to the International Broadcast Center, and then took a media bus back to my media hotel at night. We went through airport-style security to get into the broadcast center, and only official media personnel had access. It’s hard to feel unsafe when you’re receiving an intimate pat-down on a daily basis. We had to show our credentials to get into our hotel, so the only non-media people there were the hotel’s employees. The International Broadcast Center had a bank, laundry service, post office, gym, hair and nail salon, pharmacy, souvenir shop, snack store, and even a McDonald’s. So there really wasn’t much reason to venture into the outside world.

 On the off chance that I did need to run an errand outside of the bubble, an NBC driver took me where I needed to go, and a Russian intern (often my roommate) would accompany me to translate. And generally speaking, I found that the Russian people went out of their way to help me, despite the language barrier. More than once, local shop owners and vendors expressed huge excitement to my translating friend about having an American in their establishment. Although Sochi is a resort town, more Russians vacation there than foreigners, so it was a thrill for them to see new faces and nationalities around town.

While I’m on the subject of Sochi, I should mention that Olympic park and the media centers were about 40 minutes by car from the city of Sochi. We were actually located in a place called Adler, which is a smaller town in the larger area (like a county) known as Sochi. The small, secluded nature of Adler made everything feel a little safer, maybe because things moved at a slower pace and therefore it seemed like it would be hard for security to miss something. I only went to the city of Sochi once on a work errand. I only went outside the media bubble into Adler a handful of times. The only times I saw or read anything about the “danger” around me were when I was tuned into an American news source. American media was scarier than my Russian surroundings. I would say the same thing about accommodations: the worst things that I saw were either online or on the U.S. news. Other than a few minor things (things I’ve experienced in American hotels as well), my living situation was nothing but pleasant. They even built a couple of quaint bars and restaurants in our hotel complex.

To be honest, I have no idea what the spectator experience was like in Sochi. They stayed in different hotels, used different transportation, and had different credentials (all spectators did have to be accredited). So it’s possible that some of them felt less secure or saw more of a threat than I did. But when I got to go to events, the crowds were always engaged and lively – hardly scared for their lives.
Of course, there is always the feeling at a large event that something bad could happen. In the end, though, I think most working people were too busy during the Games to remember that. And then all of a sudden, the Closing Ceremony was over, and everything was intact. Now even the Paralympic Games are over with no major issues to speak of. Sochi 2014 exists only in our memories forevermore, and I for one will remember it fondly. The Russian people were gracious hosts, and they deserve all of the credit for such a successful Olympic Winter Games. Given the chance, I’d do it all again (even losing my luggage – telling that story is much more fun than clean clothes).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bringing Our Oral Histories Into the Digital Age with OHMS

In the Oral History and Media Unit, we've been working this year to implement an exciting new digital tool for our oral histories--the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer, or OHMS. Developed at the University of Kentucky's Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History under the direction of Doug Boyd, OHMS is an open-sourced, web-based system that allows archives to present digital audiovisual recordings of oral histories alongside transcripts for a more integrated user experience.

OHMS also takes us beyond the world of the transcript by allowing us to offer indexes for our oral history interviews. Traditionally, a researcher could access an oral history either by listening to the recording and/or by reading through the transcript (if a transcript existed…), but with OHMS we can create index headings (sort of like chapter titles) so that a user can quickly skim the contents to get an overview of what's discussed in a particular interview. If you see something that piques your interest, you can click on that index heading to jump directly to that portion of the interview.

We're one of the first institutions to get the OHMS system up and running, and we're excited to announce that we've just finished creating OHMS indexes for our first collection--the Georgia Environmental Oral History Project. With the help of our talented student assistant Chelsea Harvey, we now have fully searchable indexes for all eight interviews in this collection.

Want to try out the new OHMS system? Links to the OHMS indexes have been added to the finding aid for the Georgia Environmental Oral History Project, or you can click through to OHMS directly via one of these suggestions:
  • Listen to James Holland discuss his career as a commercial crabber and Altamaha Riverkeeper
  • Hear Nancy Thomason talk about the fight against beach renourishment on St. Simons Beach
  • Listen to Jean Poleszak talk about her years of community activism as a concerned resident of Jekyll Island
Post by Callie Holmes, Oral History and Media Archivist, Russell Library 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Alert Today Exhibit Extended Through March 22nd!

The Russell Library is pleased to announce that the Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow exhibition has been extended! The exhibit will now remain on display through Saturday, March 22nd. If you haven't yet had a chance to come and see this great display, make plans to visit the Special Collections Building next week.   

More About the Exhibit...

On August 6, 1945, a specially-equipped American B-29 Superfortress dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. On August 9, another atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki. For most Americans, the immediate reaction to the atomic bomb was relief: it had ended the war. But as the United States celebrated, it also braced itself for the uncertain future of the Atomic Age. For the next two decades, the looming threat of Atomic war dominated American society.

Traveling exhibition Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965 explores the ways in which Americans experienced the Atomic threat as part of their daily lives—at school, in the home, and even at play. The show features more than 75 original objects from the era, as well as large-scale graphics, radio broadcasts, and film. Visitors will experience how Americans were flooded with messaging through images and media that depicted the dangers of atomic energy. Although the threat of Atomic annihilation eventually drifted to the background of American consciousness in the late 1960s, the Atomic Age left a legacy of governmental response and civic infrastructure that remains relevant today.

Visiting the Exhibit...

The Russell Library Gallery is located inside the Russell Building for Special Collections Libraries; the exhibit is free and open to the public. The gallery is open from 8:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday and from 1:00-5:00pm on Saturdays. Guided tours of the gallery are available on Tuesday afternoons from 2:00-3:00pm; meet in the 2nd floor rotunda. For more information on the exhibit or program series email or call (706) 542-5788. If you are interested in booking a private group tour for 10 or more people, contact Jean Cleveland at  

 Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow is curated by Michael Scheibach, an independent collector in Independence, MO, and Leslie Przybylek, Curator of Humanities Exhibitions at Mid-America Arts Alliance. The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. Mid-America is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in the United States. More information is available at and

Thank you to our sponsors...
The display of this exhibit at The Russell Library is supported in part by the President’s Venture Fund through the generous gifts of the University of Georgia Partners and other donors, and by the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Nuclear Threats Panel Discussion Tonight

The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies will host an event showcasing selected scholars discussing nuclear threats tonight (Thursday, Mar. 6th) from 5:30-7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

Speakers at the event will carry on an open dialogue with the audience prompting attendees to think about the history of nuclear threats, beginning with the atomic bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Moderator Jeffrey Berejikian, associate professor in the department of international affairs, will guide panelists through a discussion of perceptions about nuclear threats today and how they compare with those experienced during the atomic age.

“We want to focus on how much the world has changed in such a short period of time,” said Berejikian. “As moderator, I would like to ask panelists about ‘lessons learned’ both correctly and incorrectly, and then also discuss contemporary nuclear issues.”

Other featured speakers include: Igor Khripunov, Center for International Trade and Security; Loch Johnson, School of Public and International Affairs; and General Pan Zhenqiang, visiting scholar, Center for International Trade and Security. Light refreshments will be served following the discussion and audience question-and-answer session.

Following the panel discussion and reception, the library will screen Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb in the auditorium, introduced by Dr. Christopher Sieving (Department of Theatre and Film Studies). 

These events are two in a series of ten to be hosted by the Russell Library this winter, all inspired by "Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965"on display in the Harrison Feature Gallery through March 14. For more information on this or other events in the "Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow" series, see or email, or call 706-542-5788.

"Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow" was curated by Michael Scheibach, an independent collector in Independence, Mo, and Leslie Przybylek, curator of humanities exhibitions at Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, tours the exhibition. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. More information is available at and

The display at the Russell Library is supported by the President's Venture Fund, the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly, the School for Public and International Affairs, the Center for International Trade and Security, and the departments of history, English and film studies.