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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

February 2016 Classes and Events

I Seek Dead People: A Teen's Intro to Genealogy

Wednesday, February 3, 2016, 4:30 p.m.
Multipurpose Room C

Ever wondered where you come from? Join us as we learn how to trace our past and find some of our ancestors!  A Heritage Room librarian will be on hand to teach you all the basic ins and outs of genealogy and searching for your ancestors. They can also answer questions you might have about starting your search so you can continue it after the workshop. You never know who you could be related to, so come join us!  This workshop is open to teens 11-18.

Read All About It: Using the Digital Library of Georgia’s Historical Newspaper Archives

Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
Computer Training Room

Anyone doing family history research knows that newspapers contain all kinds of useful and interesting information: from obituaries to news stories, estate sales to social columns, the newspaper was how communities kept in touch. Excitingly, many of Georgia’s historic newspapers are available full-text searchable online for free. This class will explore how to use the Digital Library of Georgia’s online Historic Newspaper Archives in genealogical and historical research. This class will be presented by Donnie Summerlin, Digital Projects Archivist at the Digital Library of Georgia. Limited to 12 participants.

Photograph of a bundle of hand-written recipes, tied with a string.COGS Meeting & Program: Your Family's Legacy in Recipes

Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 2:00pm
Multipurpose Room C

Family recipes are instructions for recreating the nostalgic tastes of yesteryear, but there is often more to them than what you see at first glance. If you've ever wanted to reproduce a beloved family favorite only to find the recipe is sketchy, outdated, or simply unwritten, you know that there may be a lot of tricks and tips involved with turning out a satisfying dish. But did you ever stop to look at your recipes with a genealogist's eye? Valerie J. Frey, author of Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions (UGA Press), will explore various aspects of your family's heirloom recipes.

Valerie Frey (pronounced "fry") is a writer and archivist from Athens, Georgia with projects focusing on genealogy, local history, storytelling, material culture, and the everyday home life of our ancestors. Valerie holds degrees from the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her archives career began in the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress and she went on to serve as an archivist at the Georgia Historical Society, the Savannah Jewish Archives, and the Georgia Archives. She now writes full time. Her most recent book, Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions was released in November of 2015 through the University of Georgia Press.

Finding the Burials

Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 6:00 p.m.
Multipurpose Room B

Can’t find the final burying place of a distant relative in another part of the country? Can’t just jump on the plane to look for a grave in a cemetery in another country? FindAGrave and BillionGraves could help you in your quest. You might be able to help others by posting your own information. Learn how in our class Finding the Burials!

Indigo: A Saturated History

Friday, February 26, 2016, 4:00 p.m.
Multipurpose Room A

Indigo's history is laced with mystery and superstition, and its use has been dated back nearly 4,000 years. From Egyptian Pharaohs to European explorers, indigo has been a powerful plant that people have fought hard to own. The plant's cultivation as a cash crop in colonial America tells a more complex story: Indigo made South Carolina planters rich, took over Native American lands, and burdened the slaves who grew and made dye from it. However, as blue in the dress of Native Americans and slaves, indigo symbolically embodied strength and protection for these peoples. Now, modern farmers are attempting to reimagine America's indigo culture by cultivating sustainable, "grown to sewn" crops, some using the same strain of indigo plants grown in this area for over 270 years. 

Join us for a special program about the fraught story of indigo and its indelible impact on the coastal South, featuring Donna Hardy, founder of Sea Island Indigo, and Andrea Feeser, author of Red, White and Black Make Blue: Indigo in the Fabric of South Carolina Life.  At the end of the program, join us for a special demonstration of the indigo dyeing process.

Andrea Feeser studies the art as well as visual and material culture that reflect and structure histories of place. Feeser collaborates with artists, writers, and scientists on work that examines interrelationships among people and the lands they live on. She teaches modern and contemporary art history, theory, and criticism at Clemson University.

Donna Hardy is the founder of Sea Island Indigo located in Athens, Georgia. Donna’s scholarship of natural dyes--with world experts like Michele Whipplinger and Michel Garcia--is rooted in her deep love of plants and her curiosity of their various applications. Donna also directed her studies toward the history of natural dyes in her beloved home: the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia. Rooted in a profound history, with a deep relationship with indigo, Donna is working  to create a thriving, sustainable indigo culture in America.

This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Athens-Clarke County Library and the Athens-Clarke County Library Heritage Room.

Spring 2016 Genealogy Classes

January


Getting Started with Genealogy
Tuesday, January 26, 6 p.m.
In Heritage Conference Room.

This is an introductory genealogy class designed to help new genealogists begin their family history research. The class focuses on research methods, source citations and best practices. Limited to 10 participants.

February


Read All About It: Using the Digital Library of Georgia's Historical Newspaper Archives
Tuesday, February 16, 6 p.m.
In Computer Training Room.

Anyone doing family history research knows that newspapers contain all kinds of useful and interesting information: from obituaries to news stories, estate sales to social columns, the newspaper was how communities kept in touch. Excitingly, many of Georgia's historic newspapers are available full-text searchable online for free. This class will explore how to use the Digital Library of Georgia's online Historic Newspaper Archives in genealogical and historical research. This class will be presented by Donnie Summerlin, Digital Projects Archivist at the Digital Library of Georgia. Limited to 12 participants.

Finding the Burials
Tuesday, February 23, 6 p.m.
In Multipurpose Room B.

Can't find the final burying place of a distant relative in another part of the country? Can't just jump on the plane to look for a grave in a cemetery in another country? FindAGrave and BillionGraves could help you in your quest. You might be able to help others by posting your own information. Learn how in our class Finding the Burials!

March


Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor
Tuesday, March 15, 6 p.m.
In Computer Training Room.

This class will introduce basic methods for learning the story of your ancestor's journey to the United States. After a brief overview of the history of immigration, we'll discuss how to find and use the records that will allow you to trace your ancestor's arrival. Limited to 12 participants.

GALILEO for Genealogists
Tuesday, March 29, 6 p.m.
In Computer Training Lab.

This class will explore the wonderful resources available to Georgia genealogists for free via GALILEO, an online library portal to authoritative, subscription-only information that isn't available through free search engines or web directories. Some of the databases we will cover include Ancestry Library Edition, Fold3, HeritageQuest, and the Sanborn maps. Participants strongly encouraged to take Getting Started with Genealogy class prior to attending. Limited to 15 participants.

April


Getting Started with Genealogy
Tuesday, April 5, 6 p.m.
In Heritage Conference Room.

This is an introductory genealogy class designed to help new genealogists begin their family history research. The class focuses on research methods, source citations and best practices. Limited to 10 participants.

Care and Protection of Personal Collections
Saturday, April 30, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
In Multipurpose Rooms and Auditorium.

Do you have family treasures, film recordings, old photographs or digital images that you'd be heartbroken to lose? Don't leave these valuables to chance! Learn how to care for and protect your personal family collections in this day-long workshop, co-sponsored by the Georgia Genealogical Society and the Athens-Clarke County Library.

May


Get Fired Up! Property Research Using the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Tuesday, May 10, 6 p.m.
In Computer Training Lab.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps provide property and land-use records in the form of a map that portrays everyday life. Combined with other sources such as city directories, photographs, small-scale maps, census records, genealogies, and statistical data, the Sanborn Maps provide a glimpse into the past structures of a city or town to allow you to discover how it might have been during the time of your ancestors. Learn the ins and outs of these fascinating maps in our class. Limited to 12 participants.

Read All About It: Using the Digital Library of Georgia's Historical Newspaper Archives
Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m.
In Computer Training Lab.

Anyone doing family history research knows that newspapers contain all kinds of useful and interesting information: from obituaries to news stories, estate sales to social columns, the newspaper was how communities kept in touch. Excitingly, many of Georgia's historic newspapers are available online for free. This class will explore how to use the Digital Library of Georgia's online Historic Newspaper Archives in genealogical and historical research. Limited to 12 participants.

*Registration required for all classes and is available at the Online Events Calendar*

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