Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Outside the Box - October

Object: 2002 Petition in support of a referendum to incorporate the City of Sandy Springs

Eva C. Galambos Papers

The population of Sandy Springs, an area roughly fifteen miles outside of Atlanta, Georgia, boomed after World War II. With a sizable influx of new residents and land development, by the 1970s major highways connected Sandy Springs to metro Atlanta. But when the city of Atlanta attempted to use a state law to force annexation of the area, residents offered fierce resistance.

In 1975 residents established the Committee for Sandy Springs, a group dedicated to incorporating the city. In 1977 the Committee, led by president Eva Galambos, amassed 8,500 signatures petitioning for a referendum on incorporation. Atlanta legislators blocked the resolution using a procedural requirement that all local legislation be approved first by a delegation of representatives from the affected area. In 1988, another petition was submitted calling for referendum - this time with 19,000 signatures; once again it was blocked. Beginning in 1989, every legislative session included the introduction of a bill in the Georgia General Assembly to authorize a referendum on incorporation and each year it was defeated.

In 2002, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and the Committee for Sandy Springs attempted to reach a compromise, in the form of a tax sharing plan. The Committee submitted the petition shown here, containing approximately 23, 000 signatures, but yet again the petition for referendum was defeated. After years of delay, the procedural rules previously used to prevent a vote by the full chamber were changed so that the bill was handled as a state, not a local, bill. The Sandy Springs referendum bill was approved by the Assembly and signed by Governor Sonny Perdue. On June 21, 2005 area residents voted 94% to 6% in favor of incorporation.

More on Eva C. Galambos...
Eva C. Galambos donated her files on the creation of the City of Sandy Springs to the Russell Library in 2008. Galambos is co-founder and former secretary of Sandy Springs Revitalization, founder of Sandy Springs Clean and Beautiful, chairwoman of the services committee for the Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods, former chairwoman of the Fulton County Public Housing Authority, and founder of the Sandy Springs Civic Roundtable. She has served as mayor of Sandy Springs since its incorporation in 2005.

October's “Outside the Box” object will be on display in the lobby gallery of the Russell Library, open 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, until November 1st. For further information on the Eva C. Galambos Papers , please contact russlib@uga.edu or visit http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/.

Post by Kat Shirley, Head of Arrangement and Description, and Jan Levinson, Assistant Outreach Archivist, Russell Library

Friday, September 25, 2009

Baseball Database Goes Live

Introducing a new Russell Library Database of Vintage Baseball Cards from the Collection of Senator Richard B. Russell. Among the largest private collections of turn-of-the-century tobacco cards held by a public institution in the United States, Senator Richard B. Russell's boyhood baseball card collection is one of the hidden treasures of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia.

The Russell collection contains over one thousand baseball cards produced by the American Tobacco Company between the years 1909-1911. The tobacco cards in the Russell collection offer a rare, private glimpse into the lifelong passions of a very public figure. Library staff discovered these keepsakes neatly stacked in cigar boxes and stored on a top shelf in the senator's bedroom closet. His estate executors decided to include them as part of his larger research collection at the Russell Library and to offer the public an opportunity to enjoy these delightful objects as well.

The development of this site was a collaborative effort among present and former staff members of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, the Digital Library of Georgia, and the University of Georgia Libraries Systems department. Baseball scholar, Albert Kilchesty curated the original Legends of the Dead-ball Era exhibition of Senator Russell’s baseball cards, and served as a consultant throughout the development of this database.

To explore Russell Library’s new baseball card database, please go to

Post by Abby Griner, Access and Electronic Records Archivist, Russell Library

New Exhibits Now Open!

On September 23, 1957, nine African American students entered Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas – initiating the first important test of the 1954 Supreme Court decision in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to riots led by white residents, President Dwight D. Eisenhower mobilized the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army to Little Rock. Americans across the country watched events unfold on their television screens. Georgians considered the fate of their own public school system.

How did the Little Rock Crisis shape politics, policy, and public response to federal directives to desegregate? How have public schools changed since Little Rock? The Russell Library invites you to consider these questions in two new exhibits now on display:

Measuring Deliberate Speed: Georgians Face School Desegregation is the culmination of a year of research and planning by staff at the Russell Library. The exhibit was created to showcase materials from the collections that illuminate and explain the tactics, rhetoric, and reactions of Georgians to federal school desegregation mandates. Using text panels, artifacts, and selected audio and film clips, the display examines the landmark federal and state legal decisions that led to the desegregation of public schools in Georgia between 1950 and 1961.

With All Deliberate Speed: The AP in Little Rock, created by the Associated Press Corporate Archives, serves as a companion exhibit that explores how the news agency prepared for and covered Little Rock and its reverberations throughout the South. The AP had never faced a more difficult test of its mission to serve all members equally with objective, timely reporting than it did covering desegregation in Little Rock. Using news clippings, photographs, and correspondence, this exhibit captures a moment in time and demonstrates the legacy this event created for journalists everywhere.

These exhibits are currently open to visitors! An informal opening event will take place on Thursday, October 8th from 3:00-6:00PM. The opening is free and open to all. The Russell Library is located on the West side of the Main Library on the University of Georgia campus. For directions and parking information, please visit http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/exhibits/deliberate_speed/index.shtml or call 706-542-5788.

Both exhibits will remain on display at the Russell Library until February 28, 2010. Russell Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 p.m. Admission is free. In addition to the collections of the Russell Library and the Associated Press Corporate Archives, Measuring Deliberate Speed was supplemented with materials from the archival collections of the Hargrett Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, and the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Updates in Oral History

The success of the Russell Library’s oral history program, especially the Reflections on Georgia Politics series, has afforded our Media and Oral History team opportunities to expand the program’s scope. An ongoing discussion we have centers around the question, “Where do we go from here?” One goal we're working towards is building partnerships with other oral history programs. We want to create collaborations that will support oral history initiatives and help existing programs (like ours) to grow. As part of this new initiative, we (the Russell Library’s Media and Oral History unit) have teamed up with the Heritage Room of the Athens Regional Library System (ARLS) to preserve their growing collection of local Athens oral histories.

ARLS’s oral history project began ten years ago with interviews focusing on local school desegregation. The project fell by the wayside for a time, but Heritage Room librarian Laura Carter says that the project has expanded in the last few years, and now has a broader vision -- to document “what folks can tell us about Athens in the 20th century.” So far, the collection consists of 24 oral histories recorded over the last two years and includes interviews with Rev. Archibald Killian, Pastor Tom Lang, Milton Leathers, Agnes Parker, Maxine Easom and Charles Carter, among others. Two real gems in this collection are oral histories that describe historic African American neighborhoods in Athens. In “A Visit to Chalky Level: Yesterday and Today” and “A Trip to the Bottom,” researchers will get a glimpse of this rich past, guided by the recollections of Rev. Charles Knox.

This ARLS project promises to be a rich collection of local African-American oral histories, including discussions of Athens during the civil rights era. Transcripts will be available at both the Heritage Room and at the Russell Library, and the collection will be housed in both institutions. The Russell Library is proud to be a part of this partnership and we'll keep you updated on new developments here on the blog!

Post by Christian Lopez, Oral History Coordinator, Russell Library

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Russell Database!

The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia is pleased to announce the launch of a new database of research finding aids - a new way to assist researchers in finding primary source materials. Powered by the open source application, eXtensible Text Framework (XTF), the database allows patrons to conduct full-text searching of collection finding aids, browse by subject, and browse alphabetically by collection title and collection creator. This quick search tool not only makes Russell Library’s collections more accessible for off-site users but also enables all patrons to target collections that are most relevant to their areas of interest.

At present, the database contains finding aids for over a hundred of the Russell Library’s collections – a number that will grow extensively as staff members continue to build this online resource. The finding aids included therein consist of the papers of Georgia public officials, journalists, influential citizens, political and policy groups and organizations from the late nineteenth century to the present. They provide significant documentation of the broad spectrum of political activities of modern Georgia through papers, printed material, electronic records, photographs, sound recordings, film, editorial cartoons, artifacts, and oral history. The collections also document the global relationships and interests formed by Georgians through political action, foreign service, trade, and other activities. Though a huge undertaking, developing the database is just one step in the Russell Library’s ongoing efforts to make its collections more accessible to the public and to prepare for the opening of the new special collections building at the University of Georgia.

To explore Russell Library’s new finding aids application, please go to

Friday, September 11, 2009

Saving the Best for Last

It’s funny how collections have little surprises. The Peterson Collection has certainly had quite a few. There were photographs of the Washington office, candid letters from Richard B. Russell while he was still a young man in the State Legislature, and painted campaign banners from the 1930s; funny little drawings by the artist Tasev, a piece of metal from a Japanese bomber, and so many more – many of which I’ve chronicled here on the blog. And yet, it was on my last day of processing that I found something even less expected. A folder marked “McAllister data and notes on effort to purchase Calhoun land” yielded some treasures dating from 1814 and 1951. It contained tax receipts and family documents, including a legal agreement between C. C. McAlister and his former slaves in September of 1865.

Having worked with a set of papers for so long, I feel attached to the Peterson collection. For some reason, this find is a little more precious to me than the others, maybe because it was the last “find” I made. Or maybe because of the connection these documents reveal between Peterson, his ancestors, and the land on which they lived. I spent so much time looking at material dealing with world affairs on such a grand scale that this local memory was special. In any case, it was a wonderful way to end processing.

Although this marks the end of my discoveries, i'll keep you all informed about when the Peterson collection opens for research -- and any other developments that come along! Thanks for keeping up with my "Progress on Peterson" -- hopefully i'll be back soon to document more adventures here at the Russell Library.

P.S. Also in the papers was a little recipe for making wine. Enjoy!

Post by Renna Tuten, Project Archivist, Russell Library

Outside the Box

Object: Map of the official vote count for the November 12th Democratic Primary Governor’s Race, 1962

Collection: Carl E. Sanders Papers

Carl E. Sanders, state senator from 1956 to 1962, took the next step in his political career when he decided to make a run for the governor's chair in 1962 against Marvin Griffin. Shortly after his announcement, federal courts ruled that Georgia's county unit system was unconstitutional. In 1962, the state would elect its officials by popular vote, giving the urban candidate, Sanders, a greater chance at victory.

As a moderate on racial issues, Sanders faced an outspoken opponent of integration in former-Governor Griffin. While agreeing that Georgia should try to maintain the tradition of segregation, Sanders also believed it was imperative that the state avoid violence and adhere to national laws. Unlike Griffin, Sanders’ campaign issues were not centered on race. Instead, he focused on the elimination of corruption in state government and promoting progress in education and industry. In the end, his positive campaign message, Sanders clinched the election, making him the youngest governor in the country at the time. He was 37.

As a candidate, Sander's strength was concentrated in the counties above the fall line, as shown in red on the map above. When the primary votes were tallied, Sanders had captured 87 counties with 256 old unit votes while Marvin Griffin had carried 72 counties with 154 old units.

September's “Outside the Box” object will be on display in the lobby gallery of the Russell Library, open 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, until October 1st. For further information on the Carl E. Sanders Papers, please contact russlib@uga.edu or visit http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/.

Post by Kat Shirley, Head of Processing, Russell Library

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Russell Forum in Tifton

Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia staff will hit the road at the end of the month to moderate two forums in Tifton, Georgia on health care policy. The moderating team of Jill Severn, Jan Levinson, and Margaret Holt are traveling to Tifton on September 29 and 30th at the invitation of the Tift County Republican and Democratic parties and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Political Science Club and Young Democrats.

Sue Wilson and Jonathan Jones, leaders of the local political parties, say they invited the Russell Forum team to Tifton to guide fair, balanced, respectful dialogue, agreeing that weighing the pros and cons of passionate concerns is not an easy matter if people out-shout or dominate one another.

The Russell moderating team will use the National Issues Forums issue guide, Coping with the Cost of Health Care, as the basis for both forums. The Russell Forum is thrilled to return to Tifton to continue to help the city build a habit of vibrant civic engagement. Last fall, the Russell Forum worked with Tifton community leaders to offer three forums on community development, the news media, and health care as part of a national initiative to encourage civic engagement leading up to the presidential election.

The Tifton forums will take place on the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College campus in Room 101 of Bowen Hall, directly east of Donaldson Dining Hall and north of the Student Center. For more information contact Jill Severn at 706-542-5766 or jsevern@uga.edu.

Post by Jill Severn, Director, Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia