Frank Ogden Walsh III Fund

Frank Ogden Walsh was born in Atlanta on January 30, 1944, the son of Frank O. Walsh, Jr. and Robyn Young Peeples Walsh. Many of his Georgia and southern roots go back four generations and more. He was educated in Atlanta schools and graduated from the Lovett School. He went on to attend the University of Virginia, graduating in 1966, followed by two years in the US Army. After returning to Atlanta Frank was employed for two and a half years at the Citizens and Southern National Bank.

Frank became interested in history at a very young age in grade school, both for the facts and the artifacts. He became a lifelong collector of books, documents, and antiquities about Georgia, the South, and the United States. Following an impulse to surround himself with this focus both as a dealer in and collector of history, he left banking to start Yesteryear Book Shop in September 1971 and finally closed its retail location in the Buckhead section of Atlanta in March 2003.

An interest beginning in the 1970s in all aspects of commerce, business, and financial growth in our region, back to colonial days, moved Frank to begin collecting and preserving an archive of such history. His collection has grown over the last 50 years to more than 10,000 documents, books, and physical relics of this economic story to include early southern iron foundry products, a large collection of early regional bottles, including dairy, soft drink, whisky, patent medicine and more. He also has a large, related accumulation of other physical objects such as tobacco tins, early business promotional objects, packaging and early product labels, and cotton and other agriculture items.

Included in the huge document collection are land grants, deeds, southern paper currency, stocks and bonds, billheads, trade cards, letterheads, photographs, and advertising. Frank’s personal reference library is now well over a thousand volumes focusing on southern architecture and decorative arts, country life, southern history, and business history.

He first joined the Georgia Historical Society in 1967. Over the years since he has often visited GHS and been a supporting member. Meeting Mrs. Lilla M. Hawes, for 28 years GHS Librarian and Director, was among the countless pleasant memories Frank has of the institution. Numerous other staff members over time have also kindly helped Frank with his many research questions about Savannah and Georgia history.

Among Frank’s many other active history and culture-related interests are memberships in the Atlanta Historical Society (member since 1963), Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation (founding member), Atlanta Preservation Center, Madison Morgan Cultural Center, Madison-Morgan Conservancy, Morgan County Landmarks Society, Georgia Humanities Council, Historic Augusta Foundation, Colonial Williamsburg, and several other institutions. He is also a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, the American Legion, and the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce. Frank currently resides in Madison, Georgia.

In recent years he has donated and endowed his large collection on the history of letterpress printing—early presses, wood type, cuts, tools, lithography, and a related printing reference book library—to the Arts Department at Kennesaw State University. The collection is used for both teaching and research.

Frank established the Frank Ogden Walsh III Fund in 2016 so that his love of Georgia history will continue in perpetuity.