Campus News Society & Culture

UGA Libraries bring home an Emmy

Historical news footage preserved in archives forms basis for documentary

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Libraries has a new addition-a statuette awarded at the 2010 Southeast Regional Emmy Awards Saturday in Atlanta.

Andrew Young Presents: How We Got Over was recognized for technical achievement, one of three Emmys it received. The documentary is largely based on historical news footage made available through the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. It aired on Georgia Public Television as part of the Andrew Young Presents series.

Young and Producer CB (sic) Hackworth were recognized, along with UGA Libraries employees Toby Graham, deputy university librarian; Ruta Abolins, director of the media archives; Margie Compton and James Benyshek of the archives; Craig Breaden of the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies; Barbara McCaskill, UGA English professor, in addition to student employees and other members of the production team.

“As the producer CB Hackworth said to me, it was all about honoring the technical achievement of the Civil Rights Digital Library and in particular the WSB and WALB newsfilm preserved and represented in the project, as well as the Freedom on Film website and the Highlander Folk School website,” Abolins said, adding that, after accepting the award, Young told her it belongs at the UGA Libraries.

The raw news footage, from WSB in Atlanta and WALB in Albany, form the centerpiece of the Civil Rights Digital Library.

“The Civil Rights Digital Library initiative is the most ambitious and comprehensive effort to date to deliver educational content on the Civil Rights Movement via the Web,” said P. Toby Graham, also director of the Digital Library of Georgia, based at the UGA Libraries. “It is national in scope and there really is nothing else like it.”

Held by the libraries’ media archives, the moving images-about 450 clips-cover a broad range of key civil rights events.

“The video archive covers both national figures and local leaders,” Abolins said. “There are more than two hours of film related to Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s role in the Albany Movement is documented extensively, including clips of speeches at mass meetings, his arrest by local police, press conferences, and his visit to a pool hall to urge local African Americans to adopt non-violence in achieving change in Albany.”

“We never expected our archival work to be honored, so this award is very special to us. The award will go into the new special collections building when it is completed in September 2011,” Abolins said.

For more information on the Civil Rights Digital Library, see