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Heritage Room

Visit the Heritage Room to research genealogy, local & Georgia history, and more!

Heritage Room Hours

  • Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 1:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Please call (706-613-3650 ext 350) or email the heritage staff (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) if you have any questions.

Heritage Room News

April 2014 Events and Classes

Image of a Bank of Athens $20 dollar bill.

Money Talks: A Chronology of the Use of Currency in Georgia

Saturday, April 5, 2014
3:00 p.m.

To kick off Money Smart Week 2014, local author and historian Gary Doster will discuss the history of the use of currency in the South. Mr. Doster will showcase examples from his impressive collection of obsolete Georgia currency from the colonial period through the War Between the States.  A light reception generously donated by Home.Made Catering will follow the presentation.

Gary L. Doster was born in Athens and has lived in the area for most of his life.  Mr. Doster retired from a robust career with the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, headquartered at UGA's College of Veterinary Medicine, but continues to pursue his life-long interest in U.S., Georgia, and Athens history.  He has collected historical memorabilia and artifacts since childhood, and has published several books and magazine articles, most notably From Abbeville to Zebulon: Early Post Card Views of GeorgiaA Post Card History of Athens, GeorgiaDear Sallie, The Letters of Confederate Private James Jewel, Echols Light Artillery, Oglethorpe County, Georgia; Athens (in Arcadia Publishing Company’s Postcard History Series); and six other books published by Arcadia Publishing Company. Gary currently is involved with 10 other Athens historians in writing a book on early Athens history titled The Tangible Past in Athens, Georgia. The book is scheduled for release later in 2014.

Incorporating Business Ventures in Antebellum Athens

Monday, April 7, 2014
11:00 a.m.
Multipurpose Room A

As part of our week-long series of financial programming events in honor of Money Smart Week 2014, author and historian Dr. Michael Gagnon will talk about the nature of corporations in Athens by looking at the interconnections between banking, insurance, and the capital finance of railroads and factories. Dr. Gagnon will be signing copies of his book, Transition to an Industrial South: Athens, 1830-1870, published by Louisiana State University Press in 2012.  Copies will be available for purchase in the Library Store.

Dr. Michael Gagnon is Associate Professor of History in the School of Liberal Arts at Georgia Gwinnett College.  He is a graduate of Hall County public schools and served in the U.S. Navy as an enlisted person on a nuclear powered submarine. He has degrees from Gainesville Jr. College, Georgetown University, and Emory University. He began teaching college history courses in 1992. His next major project is a biography of Augustin Clayton, for whom Clayton County is named.

How Did We Get This Way?  Banking in Athens in the Last 50 Years

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Multipurpose Room B

As the final portion in the Heritage Room's historical treatment of finance and capital in Athens, as part of Money Smart Week 2014, life-long Athenian Peter Hodgson will discuss the history and legacy of the First National Bank of Athens, the local influence of the Southern Mutual Insurance Company, and the familial relationships that influenced investing in Athens, Georgia.

Peter Hodgson worked in the banking industry from 1970 to 2008.  While his métier covered many facets in banking, his entire career was in Athens with the First National Bank of Athens, which later became Sun Trust Bank.

Genealogy on the Internet

Monday, April 14, 2014
6:00 p.m.
Computer Training Lab

This is a brief introduction to the types of genealogy Internet resources. Participants will receive handouts so they can use the tools on their own. This is NOT a beginning genealogy class. Participants must know how to use a mouse and how to search the Internet with a search engine. Registration is free, but required. Class is limited to 10 people. If you are registered and cannot attend, please call and we will try to let someone else take your place.

Call (706) 613-3650, ext. 350, to register.

Local History Book Club

Thursday, April 17, 2014
6:00 p.m.
Heritage Conference Room

Join us for our discussion of Confederate Athens by Kenneth Coleman, available for checkout or for free online at the Digital Library of Georgia.  All ages and experience levels welcome!

From Amazon: "Kenneth Coleman's study of Athens, Georgia, during the Civil War focuses on what life was like for the 4,000 people living there. Despite the hardship and deprivation, life went on, heightened by the effects of war. Churches and schools remained the core of social life; women's groups continued to meet; parties and concerts added amusement to people's lives. But war did make drastic changes. People lost loved ones, and knew the hardship of living from day to day as prices soared and goods, once necessities, became unobtainable luxuries. Coleman weaves a broad and illuminating tapestry of a people who met a great challenge while managing to hold on to, for as long as possible, their peacetime ways."

Annual Heritage Room Book Clinic

with Ken Jewell of the National Library Bindery Company
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Heritage Room

Do you have cookbooks, family Bibles, or other treasured books whose bindings are becoming weak or are in need of repair?  Then bring them to the Heritage Room's Book Clinic, where Ken Jewell, a representative of the National Library Bindery Company, will be on-hand to give estimates and advise on repairing and re-binding your materials.  Books will be returned to the Library within two months and payment will be due in advance of pick-up.  No registration required; patrons will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.  Questions?  Contact the Heritage Room at (706) 613-3650 x350.

March 2014 Events and Classes

Webinar: Some Lesser-Known Irish Resources

March 12, 2014
Multipurpose Room B

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a little family history research! This webinar, offered by Legacy Family Tree and presented by Judith Eccles Wight, is an overview of some lesser known Irish resources that may provide additional information about your Irish ancestors. Some of the sources that will be discussed will include school records, taxation sources and court records. Recommended for the intermediate to advanced researchers.

Judith Eccles Wight is owner of Wight House Research and has been an Accredited Genealogist specializing in Ireland and Scotland. She worked ten years as a reference consultant at the Family History Library and has vast research experience in the British Isles, U.S., Canada and Australia.

Please call the Heritage Room at (706) 613-3650, ext. 350 to register.

Researching American Conflicts: the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War

Saturday, March 15, 2014
Multipurpose Room A

The March meeting of the Clarke-Oconee Genealogical Society will concentrate on major American conflicts, with particular emphasis on researching the War of 1812. The program is presented by speaker Barbara McCay, a native of Madison County. Barbara attended the University of Georgia, where she received her Bachelors, Masters and Education Specialist degrees. She taught for 33 years at South Gwinnett High School in Gwinnett County. She is an avid genealogist and belongs to several lineage societies.

This program is co-sponsored by the Clarke-Oconee Genealogical Society and the Athens-Clarke County Library Heritage Room.

Webinar: Finding Females in Your Family Tree

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Multipurpose Room C

Genealogists love playing detective as we solve our family history mysteries. Most of us, though, have a few unsolved mysteries regarding the women in our family trees. Join genealogy professional Mary Penner as she outlines strategies for tracing our elusive women in a free webinar, "Finding Females in Your Family Tree." Her presentation, filled with tips and examples, will help you ramp up your detective skills in order to close the case on your mystery woman.

In this class, we will find out how to access the FamilySearch and Ancestry Learning Centers at home for FREE and learn creative ways to find our female ancestors.

Please call the Heritage Room at (706) 613-3650 x 350 to register.

Getting Started with Genealogy

Monday, March 24, 2014
Heritage Conference Room

This class will help you get started with your family research. This is the pre-beginning genealogy class. Call the Heritage Room at (706) 613-3650, ext. 350 to register. Limited to 10 participants.

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