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Digital Public Library of America

Meet the Hubs!: Digital Library of Georgia

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while exploring the collections of the DPLA’s Hubs over the past few weeks, it’s that archival photographs of lush green gardens and sandy beaches prove surprisingly helpful in confronting the chilly midwinter conditions here in Boston. After another snowy weekend, I was glad to spend time this week searching through the collections of the Digital Library of Georgia (DLG). The DLG serves as part of the University of Georgia’s GALILEO initiative. The DLG’s services extend beyond the access it provides to the documents in its portals, and includes metadata aggregation, text encoding, scanning and digital imaging services, and the preservation of the library’s massive Georgia Newspaper Project.

So what’s in the DLG? What kind of unusual historic documents can you find by clicking through the site’s collections? The DLG provides ample educationally significant material — the DLG’s connections to the Civil Rights Digital Library and Civil War Library  make finding some of the DLG’s most historically significant documents easy enough. But despite the draw of these resources, I found another collection that grabbed my attention: the Historic Postcard Collection.

The Historic Postcard Collection is part of the Georgia Archives, and contains over 1,600 images of postcards spanning the decades from 1900 to the 1970s with images of some of the state’s most notable landmarks (like the first Girl Scout headquarters in the US!). The postcards themselves are beautiful; some contain hand drawn interpretations of Georgia’s universities, while others include reprinted historic photographs of historic downtown Atlanta or Savannah.

I did spend quite a while looking through the DLG’s extensive collection of documents in the Civil Rights Digital Library portal. The CRDL centralizes documents from archival institutions throughout the US in order to provide a comprehensive look at the history of the civil rights movement in Georgia and beyond. While the collections range from news clips to editorial cartoons, I found a series of interviews called “Greensboro Voices” especially interesting. The interviews, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, include discussions of growing up in segregated Greensboro and first-hand accounts of the process of organizing sit-ins in the 60s.

Another favorite collection found through the DLG is the Historical Maps Database from the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia. The maps within the database go as far back as the mid-sixteenth century. I’m especially fond of a 1584 map, the Peruuiae Aviferae Regionis Typus created by Abraham Ortelius, which depicts Florida and parts of the southeast coast, central America, and northwester South America.

Peruuiae Aviferae Regionis Typus, 1584, Abraham Ortelius, Courtesy of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library


Cover image Georgia, drawn by S. Lewis ; D. Fairman sc., 1804, Courtesy of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Read more about the Digital Hubs Pilot Project and the service hubs here.