The Campaign to Share Georgia History
The Georgia Historical Society is pleased to announce the launch of The Campaign to Share Georgia History!
In 1839, a group of visionary statesmen and intellectual leaders of the day founded the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) with 100 items and a mission to collect, preserve and share Georgia history for the enlightenment of future generations. Since that time, GHS has grown to become the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. A major research center, GHS’s Library and Archives houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation, including:
- 4 million manuscripts,
- 100,000 photographs,
- 25,000 architectural drawings,
- 20,000 rare and non-rare books, and
- Thousands of maps, artifacts, portraits, and newspapers.
The Campaign to Share Georgia History – a $7.5 million capacity-building campaign intended to strengthen Georgia’s most outstanding source for our state’s history – will safeguard these irreplaceable historical treasures for generations to come while also promoting their wide use by researchers, scholars, teachers, students and history enthusiasts through initiatives designed to open the GHS archives.
The Georgia Historical Society’s Campaign to Share Georgia History is divided into two parts – a $3.6 million component that focuses on increasing the visibility and public profile of the institution around the state, thereby building its capacity for sustained future growth, and a $3.9 million component for acquisition and renovation of a new facility from which all GHS educational programming and administrative services will emanate.
This campaign represents a long-term investment in an exemplary educational institution whose work has been improving the cultural and intellectual life of Georgians for nearly 175 years. Campaign funds will strengthen and support your Society in the following ways:
Expanded Online Access to GHS Collections
Interest in the Georgia Historical Society is growing as more Georgians become aware of the resources and programs provided by GHS. Through the Campaign to Share Georgia History, GHS will invest in the personnel, technology and activities necessary to make 100 percent of the GHS Library and Archives collection accessible and searchable online. This effort will include a pilot digitization project that focuses on digitizing selected resources from significant collections.
Expanded Public Programming and Outreach
The Campaign to Share Georgia History will strengthen and expand GHS’s public education programming and statewide outreach efforts designed to educate citizens, inspire leaders and develop future history makers.
Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927) - GHS Photograph Collection and Girl Scout badges
One of the most exciting examples of this is a new, multi-platform daily history initiative – Today in Georgia History. A joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), Today in Georgia History has been designed to open the GHS archives and bring history into classrooms and living rooms across the state using GPB Radio, GPB Television, and an interdisciplinary project website targeting Georgia educators and students.
Today in Georgia History television and radio segments will offer daily moments in history, introducing audiences to Georgia’s rich and storied past, while the website will equip more than 125,000 teachers with resources and tools to engage students in the critical exploration of key moments presented in the program. The website will feature audio/video stream of daily segments; transcripts with detailed resource listings; digital facsimiles of archival resources; and expanded curricular units featuring tips for teachers, suggested writing prompts, follow-up questions, and classroom exercises.
In addition to supporting Today in Georgia History, campaign funds will be used to sustain the Historical Marker Program, which places roadside markers in communities to tell the stories of important events, significant people, and historic sites and structures. Since 1998, GHS has managed this statewide program which extends unique opportunities for citizens and visitors alike to learn about Georgia’s history.
Expanded Facilities and Infrastructure Support
Over the past 15 years, GHS has experienced explosive growth in its collections, programs, and membership. GHS must equip itself with the necessary personnel, technology, and facilities to keep pace with current trends as well as prepare for sustained future growth.
The pair of shooting pistols used in the famous and fatal duel between Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett, in which Gwinnett was killed.
Campaign funds will support the acquisition and renovation of a property adjacent to GHS’s historic headquarters that will serve as an educational center for all GHS programs as well as administrative offices. The planned facilities expansion, the first in forty years, will allow GHS to provide all employees with formal, functional, and efficient workstations while also enabling the Library and Archives to expand within Hodgson Hall, providing new space for additional resources and archival storage.
Improved technology will give our staff the ability to work more efficiently and effectively, ultimately resulting in Georgia’s history being made available in more ways to more people. Finally, key staff positions in the areas of communications, marketing, and fundraising will be employed to support the generation of heightened levels of philanthropic contributions necessary to strengthen and sustain the organization’s mission and to provide consistent, exceptional service to GHS members and supporters.
Lois Dozier Norvell of Griffin, GA corresponded with soldiers during World War II and published a regular newsletter containing news of the activities of her correspondents--both men and women.
The Campaign to Share Georgia History is being led by a distinguished steering committee chaired by Robert S. Jepson, Jr. and composed of J. David Allen, James H. Blanchard, John C. Helmken II, Thomas D. Hills, Thomas M. Holder, Bill Jones III, Wyck Knox, Jr., John F. McMullan, and John A. Wallace. The Society’s Board of Curators has already pledged over a third of the campaign goal – demonstrating their personal commitment to the future of this historic institution.
There are many changes happening here at the Georgia Historical Society. We are excited about our upcoming journey and the public launch of this essential campaign. With participation from current and future members, donors, and a staff committed to this growth, GHS will meet our fundraising goal. Most importantly, we will strengthen and equip a Society that fosters within Georgia’s future leaders a deep appreciation for, and understanding of, out state and nation’s rich history and its people.
Donations to GHS's Campaign to Share Georgia History are fully tax-deductible. Your generous gift will have an immediate and vital impact on GHS's ability to continue fulfilling its founding mission.
Robert S. Jepson, Jr.
Vincent J. Dooley
The Honorable Andrew J. Young
J. David Allen
James H. Blanchard
John C. Helmken II
Thomas D. Hills
Thomas M. Holder
Bill Jones III
Wyck Knox, Jr.
John F. McMullan
John A. Wallace