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 10:00 a.m. - 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.

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Please call (706-613-3650 ext 350) or email the heritage staff (heritageroomref@athenslibrary.org) if you have any questions.

September 2016 Classes and Events


Heritage Conference Room

September 8, 2016, 2:00-2:45pm
September 14, 2016, 2:00-2:45pm
September 21, 2016, 10:00am-10:45am

Photo of an old house.

If These Walls Could Talk: Researching the History of Your Athens-Clarke County Home

CLASS 1: When Was My House Built? Using Sanborn and Other Maps

Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 7:00pm
Multipurpose Room B
Hallie Pritchett, MAGIL

Maps and air photos can be very useful resources when researching the history of your home and other properties. This session will look at the various types of maps and air photos held by UGA's Map and Government Information Library, including Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, U.S. Geological Survey maps, and Georgia county highway maps, and discuss how they can be used to determine when your house was built.

Part of a 4 class series. Click to view all classes in the series.

Photo of a unique-looking plat.

COGS Program: Power Platting: Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions

Saturday, September 17, 2016, 2:00pm
Multipurpose Room A
Lisa Delgado/COGS

COGS Member Lisa J. Delgado will host a presentation of Chris Staats’ webinar Power Platting: Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions which was originally presented through Legacy Family Tree Webinars August 12, 2015. Staats’ webinar provides an introduction to platting as well as a number of tools to help you plat property descriptions (and locate the land) using both proprietary and open source software. Following the presentation, Lisa will share examples of land deeds she platted using deed mapping software and a process she adapted from Staats’ webinar.

Lisa J. Delgado has been actively researching her family history for 20 years and is the webmaster and technology officer for Clarke-Oconee Genealogical Society.

Photo of an old house.

If These Walls Could Talk: Researching the History of Your Athens-Clarke County Home

CLASS 2: When Was My House Built? Researching Chain of Title

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 7:00pm
Appleton Auditorium
Teresa Hixson

Part of a 4 class series. Click to view all classes in the series.

Fifty Years of FOIA: Should We Start Over?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 7:00pm
Multipurpose Room A

Fifty years after its passage, the federal Freedom of Information Act offers a textbook case of legislative history. It has served the public well in places but also maddened journalists, historians and other researchers with its byzantine processes and glacial speed. Charles N. Davis, who has spent his academic career studying the law, will walk us through one particular section of the law to illustrate its promise -- and its peril.

Refreshments courtesy of the Friends of the Athens-Clarke County Library will be served following the program.

Charles N. Davis has served as Dean of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia since 2013. Prior to his appointment at UGA, he spent 14 years as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Davis worked for ten years as a journalist after his graduation from North Georgia College, working for newspapers, magazines and a news service in Georgia and Florida before leaving full-time journalism to complete a masters degree from the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication and to earn a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Florida.

Davis went on to teaching stints at Georgia Southern University and Southern Methodist University before joining the faculty at Missouri, where he served as a department chair and as executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition before assuming the deanship at the University of Georgia. 

His teaching awards include the Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Teacher of the Year Award in 2008, the Provost’s Award for Junior Faculty Teaching in 2001, and the University of Missouri Alumni Association’s Faculty/Alumni Award in 2008.

Summer 2016 Classes & Events

Book Us! For a Genealogy One-on-One

Registration for One-on-Ones is available beginning the 15th of the month prior.


Thursday, June 2 @ 2pm 

Wednesday, June 15 @ 2pm

Thursday, June 23 @ 10am

Wednesday, June 29 @ 2pm


Thursday, July 7 @ 2pm

Wednesday, July 13 @ 10am

Thursday, July 21 @ 10am

Wednesday, July 27 @ 2pm


Thursday, August 11 @ 2pm

Wednesday, August 17 @ 10am

Thursday, August 25 @ 10am

Wednesday, August 31 @ 2pm


The World at Your Fingertips: Ordering Microfilm from FamilySearch

Wednesday, June 1st


2nd Floor Computer Classroom

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah possesses one of the world's largest genealogical collections, boasting over 2.4 million rolls and 727,000 microfiche of microfilmed genealogical records spanning the globe.  These microforms can be mailed to you through FamilySearch.org.  The digitized records available freely online are only a tiny fraction of the total number of microfilmed records available to genealogists.  

In this class we will learn how to take advantage of this fantastic resource by using the FamilySearch catalog, setting up a free account, and learning how to order microfilm online to have it sent directly to the Heritage Room. Participants should have working familiarity with a computer and the internet.  Registration is required. Please go  the events calendar to reserve your spot.


Bike Tune-Up and Helmet Giveaway!

Sunday, June 5th


Library Courtyard

With summer here, it’s a great time to get back on those bikes and start cruising around town! If your bike has been sitting for a bit or you just want it to get checked out, bring it by the Athens-Clarke County Library on Sunday, June 5th between 2-4 PM. Members from BikeAthens will be there to perform safety checks on adult and children’s bikes, and free helmets will be available.


Genealogy of Bicycles

Sunday, June 5th


Multipurpose Room B

Bicycles are all around us, but where did they start, where have they been, and where are they going? Join vintage bike specialist and mechanic Patrick Stanley as he presents on the “family tree” of bicycle history – complete with unions, divorces, deaths, and everything in between.

Patrick Stanley is owner of Yesteryear Cycles, which specializes in refurbishing and repairing vintage and antique bicycles. He also a volunteer and Board member with BikeAthens.  He is former co-owner of the Georgia Bikes! grant-funded Valdosta Bike Coop.  He’s been working with and learning about vintage bicycles for ten years.




Athens Historical Society Meeting and Conversation with Dan Aldridge, Author of To Lasso the Clouds: The Beginning of Aviation in Georgia

Sunday, June 12th


Appleton Auditorium

The story of the first airplane flight in Georgia has not been told correctly in more than one hundred years. The year given for this flight, 1907, is not correct, the plane identified as the first to fly never got off the ground, and Ben T. Epps, Sr. is incorrectly credited, solely, with achieving this feat. To Lasso the Clouds sets the historical record straight and brings to light the complete, incredible story of the two young men from Athens, Georgia who achieved their dream of flight. Epps and Zumpt A. Huff were described by one newspaper after that first flight as a "second pair of Wright brothers." On their journey to build a machine capable of sustained, controlled flight, this unlikely pair crossed paths with some of the world's greatest icons including: Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company; Glenn Curtis, father of Naval Aviation and founder of the American Aircraft Industry; Alessandro Anzani, an Italian, world-famous for designing and building motorcycle and airplane engines; Louis Blériot, a Frenchman, who was the first person in the world to fly a monoplane; and Bobby Walthour of Atlanta, Georgia, World Champion bicyclist in 1904 and 1905, and perhaps the greatest athlete in the world at the time. Most surprising of all, this book reveals their flight was the first flight of a monoplane in the United States-a record of which even they were not aware.

Author Dan Aldridge will join the Athens Historical Society for a discussion of his book, recently published by Mercer University Press.  A light reception will follow the program, and books will be available for purchase.


Genealogy Speed Story Swap

Sunday, June 26th


Multipurpose Room B

From black sheep to criminals, virgin births to royal lineage, we all have family history stories that have shocked, intrigued, and confounded us. The Heritage Room invites you to share your favorite stories in our first-ever Genealogy Speed Story Swap!  Participants will trade tales, enjoy delicious snacks, and meet like-minded individuals interested in family history.  Registration is required. Please go to the events calendar to reserve your spot.


Getting Started with Genealogy 

Tuesday, July 12th


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. 

Registration is required. Please go to the events calendar to reserve your spot.


Genealogy for Everyone: Finding Records Using FamilySearch

Tuesday, July 19th


2nd Floor Computer Classroom

Millions of people use FamilySearch records to learn about their family history—it’s convenient, it’s accessible and best of all, it’s completely free.  FamilySearch is a nonprofit family history organization and boasts itself as the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch has teams of dedicated employees and volunteers who scan, index, and preserve original family history documents. 

If you’ve never used FamilySearch before, if you feel you aren’t using it to its fullest potential, then this class is for you! We will cover the basics of navigating the site, review some traditional and creative search strategies, and look at FamilySearch’s robust wiki page. This class will not cover microfilm loans—if you’re interested, please see our June 10th class, “The World at Your Fingertips: Ordering Microfilm from FamilySearch.”  Registration is required. Please go to the events calendar to reserve your spot.

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