Brunswick and Coastal Georgia among communities featured in Digital Library of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. — In 1915, a wooden sailing ship of the Brown Brothers American Shipping Company left the port at Brunswick only to disappear with 20-30 men aboard in the mysterious “devil’s triangle.” A photograph of this ill-fated ship and thousands of other items on the history of Georgia’s coastal counties may be found in the Digital Library of Georgia, housed at the University of Georgia.

“Understanding Georgia’s rich cultural heritage requires something that even the best text books cannot convey,” said Toby Graham DLG director. “It requires access to the original record of the past: the photographs, letters, memoirs, historical books and newspapers, government documents, and other sources that depict firsthand the lives and events that shaped the culture of the state that we know today.”

The DLG (http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu) shares via the Internet a half million images and pages of text drawn from 40 different libraries, archives and museums, as well as 80 agencies of state government.

With a single search, visitors can locate items from across 60 different collections, including the popular New Georgia Encyclopedia, Georgia Government Publications database and Vanishing Georgia photographs. The site provides advanced searching, including the ability to limit by collection, institution, date or type of material.

In addition to the 1,300 historical images from the Vanishing Georgia collection, people interested in coastal Georgia will find the Annual Reports of the Mayor of Savannah, 1855-1917, aerial photographs dating from the 1930s-1980s and the “Living in Savannah, 1940-1941” photographs from Armstrong Atlantic State University.

Also, in partnership with the Three Rivers Library System, the Digital Library of Georgia recently released a new digital collection on World War II Liberty Ship building in Brunswick (http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/liberty_ships) .

Institutions in the coastal Georgia region with materials included in the DLG include: Armstrong Atlantic State University, City of Savannah Municipal Research Library, Savannah College of Art and Design, and the Three Rivers Regional Library System.

The Digital Library of Georgia provides resources on other parts of the state, as well. “Visitors to the digital library may view such primary sources as a photo of Eugene Talmadge exhorting to a crowd from the back of a flatbed truck, a likeness of Jimmy Carter’s face made entirely of camellia blossoms, a World War II naval airship squadron or any of the Digital Library of Georgia’s other 20,000 historical photographs that date from the 1850s to the 1980s,” Graham said. “They can view images of early automobiles and trains, wagons, cotton gins, saw mills, turpentine stills, and other remnants of bygone days.”

The Digital Library of Georgia contains documents on the Native American experience in the Southeast. Among these is the New Echota Treaty of 1835 that resulted in Cherokee Removal from Georgia known as the “Trail of Tears.” The site includes Civil War diaries, documents on gold mining in North Georgia, photographs of African-American arts in Atlanta, acts of the state legislature dating back to the 18th century, historical books and newspapers, editorial cartoons, and many other collections that document Georgia’s history and culture.

“The University of Georgia Libraries and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia established the Digital Library of Georgia in 2000 as part of GALILEO, Georgia’s virtual library. But the Digital Library of Georgia’s newly redesigned site makes it more inclusive and more useful than ever,” Graham said.

To ensure the new site would meet the expectations of its users, its designers enlisted a group of k-12 educators, librarians, archivists, information technology professionals, and publishers to help guide the process of remaking the DLG portal.

New features include the ability to find resources from more than 60 databases and web sites with a single search. The site also has improved browsing features. By clicking on an online map, users can locate historical images, aerial photography, encyclopedia articles and other resources on each of Georgia’s 159 counties. A clickable timeline allows browsing by historical periods. Visitors may select collections based on material types – such as letters or diaries — or they may view all of the collections from a particular library, archive or museum. The DLG site also categorizes its collections by topics, such as “The Arts,” “Government and Politics” and “Peoples and Cultures.”

“The content available through the DLG represents only a small fraction of Georgia’s cultural treasures, and the Digital Library of Georgia will continue to add valuable and useful content through its partnerships with libraries, archives, museums, government agencies and allied organizations across the state,” Graham said.

The Digital Library of Georgia is based at the UGA Libraries. GALILEO is administered by the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia. GALILEO has more than 2,000 member institutions across Georgia, including k-12 schools, colleges and universities and public libraries.


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Photograph captions:

Wooden ship lost between Brunswick and Cuba. gly001, From Vanishing Georgia collection, Georgia Archives, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Brunswick street car, early 1900s. gly039, From Vanishing Georgia collection, Georgia Archives, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

President Calvin Coolidge (left) hunting on Sapelo Island. sap023, From Vanishing Georgia collection, Georgia Archives, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.