Georgia State University transferred the five million images in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographs Collections to a Special Collections and Archives service facility in April 2010. In the intervening months, Special Collections and Archives has completed an inventory of the 55,000 folder headings of photograph prints from over 550 boxes. The folders house approximately one-half million prints. This summer, the department will begin an inventory of negatives envelopes that have been moved to 300 smaller boxes. These negative envelopes contain some of the oldest photographic negatives in the AJC collection.
Researchers can now view 1,111 images from the AJC Collection online. These images were digitized as a result of researcher requests and cover a great diversity of topics, demonstrating the value of the AJC Collection to scholarship. Some of the topics covered in the last year are listed below:
For a forthcoming book on 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Elbert P. Tuttle (1897-1966), the department found over 20 photographs that illustrated the judge and the people involved in key cases that came before his court. Of particular interest was the 1961 case that integrated the University of Georgia.
For members of the Newnan Historical Society, the department researched and found a number of photographs of Newnan resident and former Georgia Governor Ellis Gibbs Arnall (1907-1992).
When the AJC contacted the department for images to use in an exhibition they were sponsoring, we provided several photographs of Atlanta Falcon Deion Sanders, and, later, for the Murphy Family’s use, the department put a large number of images of Atlanta Braves star Dale Murphy online. Sports images have been requested by many researchers, and the AJC Collection is particularly strong in the area of high-school, collegiate, and professional sports. For example, the department added several images of golf great Jack Nicklaus.
Last semester, a GSU student requested photo-documentation of reforestation projects in Georgia (“Particularly,” he said, “from the 1940s”). Department staff discovered a cache of miscellaneous prints covering just that topic. Trees in Georgia are now heavily represented in the online AJC Collection.
As the Georgian Terrace Hotel celebrates its 100th anniversary, it is preparing a publication documenting the hotel’s rich history. While Special Collections and Archives staff members have contributed many photographs from various collections to the celebration, the AJC Collection was particularly rich.
Georgia Public Broadcasting is using images that were scanned for other patrons. For example, GPB has requested high-resolution copies of the photographs of Flannery O’Connor that were digitized for a commercial calendar company.
Some of the many other patron requests that are currently online include Rich’s department store’s “Pink Pig”; Atlanta Pops Orchestra conductor Albert Coleman; Martin Luther King, Jr.; John F. Kennedy; Hamilton Holmes; and GSU radio station broadcasters.