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Explore Georgia’s rich music history

From blues and soul to classical and country—our Spotify playlists feature 130+ songs written and performed by Georgians.

Hugh McCall

Hugh McCall

Hugh McCall is generally regarded as Georgia's first historian. The first volume of his History of Georgia was published in 1811, and the second in 1816. The two books cover the history of the state from the events leading up to the founding of the colony in 1732 through the state's constitutional convention of 1784.

Edward J. Cashin

Edward J. Cashin

Edward J. Cashin, a prominent historian of colonial- and Revolutionary-era Georgia, was a professor at Augusta State University for nearly thirty years. He founded the Center for the Study of Georgia History there in 1996 and served as its director until his death in 2007. A prolific writer and researcher, Cashin published more than twenty books over the course of his career and was active in numerous historical organizations around the state.

Courtesy of Augusta State University

Paternalism in a Southern City

Paternalism in a Southern City

Paternalism in a Southern City: Race, Religion, and Gender in Augusta, Georgia (2001), published by the University of Georgia Press, is an essay collection that emerged from a symposium on Augusta history organized by historians Edward J. Cashin and Glenn T. Eskew. The collection demonstrates how the study of a single city can cover a variety of major issues in southern history.

Bethesda, Founded 1740

Bethesda, Founded 1740

Prominent Georgia historian Edward J. Cashin published Beloved Bethesda: A History of George Whitefield's Home for Boys, 1740-2000, with Mercer University Press in 2001.

Photograph by Ebyabe

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Albert B. Saye

Albert B. Saye

Albert B. Saye, a native of Morgan County, was a highly regarded history and law professor at the University of Georgia. He published twelve books over the course of his career, including six on Georgia history. His first, New Viewpoints in Georgia History (1943), is arguably his most famous.

From A Constitutional History of Georgia, by Albert B. Saye

Albert B. Saye

Albert B. Saye

A portrait of Albert B. Saye hangs in Demosthenian Hall at the University of Georgia. Saye taught at the university for fifty-five years, until his death in 1989.

Courtesy of the Demosthenian Literary Society

Georgia History and Government

Georgia History and Government

A revisionist interpretation began to develop in the 1960s among many of the nation's historians. Such texts as Albert B. Saye's Georgia History and Government tended to cover aspects of African American history and culture more favorably than before and avoided a pro-southern white slant when discussing Reconstruction politics.

John Blassingame

John Blassingame

John Blassingame, a native of Covington, was a noted historian of slavery. He received his bachelor's degree at Fort Valley State College in Peach County, and completed graduate work at Howard University and Yale University, where he joined the faculty in 1971. His major work, The Slave Community, was published the following year, and from 1979 to 1999 he edited six volumes of the Papers of Frederick Douglass.

Courtesy of Yale University

The Slave Community

The Slave Community

Originally published in 1972, The Slave Community was American historian John Blassingame's best-known work. Unlike earlier works regarding plantation life, his sources were enslaved people themselves.

Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn Carter speaks at the first Georgia Women of Achievement induction ceremony, which was held in 1992 at Wesleyan College in Macon. A group of Wesleyan alumnae founded Georgia Women of Achievement in 1990, two years after Carter suggested the need for such an organization in the state.

Georgia Women of Achievement

Georgia Women of Achievement

Georgia Women of Achievement is an organization that researches and disseminates information about women who have made significant contributions in the history of the state. In addition to an annual induction ceremony, Georgia Women of Achievement sponsors an online museum, a traveling exhibit, and a speakers' bureau, and publishes resource guides for teachers.

Atlanta History

Atlanta History

The journal Atlanta History, published semiannually, offers articles on Georgia and southern history, architecture, art, transportation studies, and urban studies, as well as photographic essays and oral history interviews.

Atlanta Historical Bulletin

Atlanta Historical Bulletin

The Atlanta Historical Bulletin was first published in 1927 under the editorship of Walter McElreath, a prominent Atlanta attorney. The essays focused on various aspects of Atlanta's history and culture and were written by both scholars and local historians.

Special Issue

Special Issue

The spring 1977 special issue of the Atlanta Historical Bulletin focused on the African American experience in Atlanta. The cover photograph depicts a 1905 Atlanta University production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. The play was directed by Adrienne Herndon, the wife of prominent Black businessman Alonzo Herndon.

C. Mildred Thompson

C. Mildred Thompson

C. Mildred Thompson, an Atlanta native, was a prominent historian who taught at both Vassar College and the University of Georgia. In 1915 she published an important study, Reconstruction in Georgia: Economic, Social, Political: 1865-1872.

Courtesy of Special Collections, Vassar College Libraries

Daniel Boorstin

Daniel Boorstin

Daniel Boorstin, an Atlanta native and prominent historian, served as the Librarian of Congress from 1975 until his retirement in 1987. A prolific writer, Boorstin won the Pulitzer, Parkman, and Bancroft prizes over the course of his career.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Daniel Boorstin

Daniel Boorstin

Daniel Boorstin (third from left), accompanied by his wife, Ruth, accepts a compilation of his writings and lectures entitled The Republic of Letters. The presentation was made in 1989 by James Billington (far left), who succeeded Boorstin as the Librarian of Congress in 1987, and John Cole, the founder of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

The Americans

The Americans

The Americans, a trilogy written by Atlanta-born historian Daniel Boorstin, explores the development of the American character. The third volume, The Democratic Experience (1973), won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1974.

Family Tree

Family Tree

This blank "planetary photographic record" was published around 1869 and functioned as a family tree. The keeping of records and the tracing of ancestral lineage was primarily done in earlier centuries to establish a family's nobility. Today these records form an integral part of the historical record.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Hodgson Hall

Hodgson Hall

The Georgia Historical Society, housed in Hodgson Hall in Savannah, holds one of the largest collections of genealogical records in the state.

Photograph by Sarah E. McKee, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Family Record Chart

Family Record Chart

This family record chart was marketed to African American families during the 1880s. Because detailed family records were not typically kept for enslaved people prior to the Civil War, conducting genealogical research has often posed a challenge for Black families. This difficulty is depicted by the chart's pictorial representations of life before and after the war.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1966

Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1966

The Georgia Historical Quarterly was founded in 1917 by the Georgia Historical Society with the aims of collecting, preserving, and disseminating the state's history. The 1966 issue was published under the editorship of E. Merton Coulter, a preeminent scholar of Georgia history.

E. Merton Coulter

E. Merton Coulter

E. Merton Coulter, a University of Georgia professor and historian of the South, helped shape the southern public's interpretation of its heritage in general and Georgia's in particular. He taught at the state's flagship university in Athens from 1919 to 1958 and served as editor of the Georgia Historical Quarterly from 1924 to 1974.

Georgia Historical Quarterly, 2005

Georgia Historical Quarterly, 2005

The Georgia Historical Quarterly, a scholarly journal featuring articles and book reviews, was established in 1917 and continues publication today. This cover, depicting two Civil War volunteers from the Fincher family of Forsyth County, appeared on the spring 2005 issue of the journal.

Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1998

Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1998

A colorized sketch of African Americans traveling after the Emancipation Proclamation graces the fall 1998 cover of the Georgia Historical Quarterly, which was established by the Georgia Historical Society in 1917.

Georgia Historical Quarterly, Spring 2016

Georgia Historical Quarterly, Spring 2016

The Georgia Historical Quarterly was completely redesigned in spring 2016, the journal's first redesign since 1989.

Hodgson Hall

Hodgson Hall

Hodgson Hall, completed in 1875, stands at the northwest corner of Forsyth Park in Savannah and houses the Georgia Historical Society. The building was erected by Margaret Telfair Hodgson in honor of her husband, William Brown Hodgson, an active member and curator in the society.

Photograph by Sarah E. McKee, New Georgia Encyclopedia

Georgia Historical Society Seal

Georgia Historical Society Seal

The seal of the Georgia Historical Society was adopted in 1839 and is modeled on the seal used by the Georgia Trustees. The Latin motto Non sibi sed aliis translates as "Not for self, but for others."

William Bacon Stevens

William Bacon Stevens

William Bacon Stevens, cofounder of the Georgia Historical Society, wrote the first scholarly history of Georgia, which was published in 1847. This etching of Stevens was done by H. B. Hall.

U.S. Constitution

U.S. Constitution

The holdings of the Georgia Historical Society include a copy of the U.S. Constitution belonging to Abraham Baldwin, one of the Georgians to sign the document. The society is home to the oldest collection of the state's historical materials, which comprises more than 4 million manuscripts, 90,000 photographs, and 20,000 books, along with thousands of drawings, maps, portraits, and newspapers.

Hodgson Hall Reading Room

Hodgson Hall Reading Room

Hodgson Hall, located at the northwest corner of Forsyth Park in Savannah, has been the headquarters of the Georgia Historical Society since 1875. The building houses the society's collection of Georgia's historical materials.

Collections of the Georgia Historical Society

Collections of the Georgia Historical Society

The Georgia Historical Society began its Collections of the Georgia Historical Society series in 1840 to publish edited primary material. This title page is taken from the third volume of the series, which was published in 1873.

Georgia Historical Quarterly

Georgia Historical Quarterly

An image of William B. Hodgson graces the spring 2003 cover of the Georgia Historical Quarterly, a journal published by the Georgia Historical Society since 1917. During the nineteenth century Hodgson was a prominent member of the society, which erected its current headquarters, Hodgson Hall, in his memory.

Jackie Robinson’s Birthplace

Jackie Robinson’s Birthplace

This historical marker in Cairo marks the birthplace of Jackie Robinson, the "first African American in Major League Baseball." In 1998 the Georgia Historical Society assumed responsibility for the state's historical marker program and since that time has erected more than 100 markers around Georgia. 

Georgia History Festival

Georgia History Festival

The Georgia History Festival, an annual two-week educational event, is sponsored by the Georgia Historical Society and reaches tens of thousands of students across the state.

List of Trustees

List of Trustees

In 2008 the Georgia Historical Society created the Georgia Trustees annual awards program, which recognizes "Georgians whose accomplishments and community service reflect the highest ideals of the founding body of Trustees, which governed the colony from 1732 to 1752." Each year the new inductees add their names to a list of the original Trustees.

Tullie Smith Farm

Tullie Smith Farm

The Tullie Smith Farm, now part of the Atlanta History Center, offers a living history interpretation to visitors during the annual "From Sheep to Shawl" festival.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Atlanta History Museum

Atlanta History Museum

The Atlanta History Museum, located on the campus of the Atlanta History Center, is one of the Southeast's largest history museums. The 30,000-square-foot facility, designed by architect George T. Heery, opened in 1993 and houses four permanent exhibitions, as well as two galleries for traveling exhibitions.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center.

Swan House

Swan House

The Swan House, formerly the property of Edward Inman, was purchased by the Atlanta Historical Society in 1966. Renovated during the 1990s, the house is one of two historic homes located on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

Courtesy of Atlanta History Center, Photograph by Rod Smith.

Swan House Interior

Swan House Interior

The Swan House, a house museum at the Atlanta History Center, was renovated during the 1990s. The interior decor reflects the time period of the 1920s and 1930s, when the Edward Inman family resided in the home.

Julius Bailey

Julius Bailey

This photograph, taken by Malcolm and Muriel Bell, captures Julius Bailey driving an ox cart along a Sapelo Island road around 1939. The image graces the cover of Drums and Shadows, a study of Black culture in coastal Georgia. Originally published in 1940, the book was reissued by the University of Georgia Press in 1986.

Courtesy of Georgia Historical Society, Photograph by Malcolm and Muriel Bell.

Malcolm Bell Jr.

Malcolm Bell Jr.

Malcolm Bell Jr., a native of Savannah, was a banker, historian, photographer, and civil rights advocate. He was also instrumental in the development of the Georgia Historical Society.

Lewis McIver

Lewis McIver

Malcolm Bell Jr. and his wife, Muriel Barrow Bell, worked in 1939 with the Federal Writers' Project to document the African heritage in coastal Georgia. This portrait of Lewis McIver, a fisherman at Pin Point, is one of the many photographs composed by the couple during that year.

Courtesy of Georgia Historical Society, Photograph by Malcolm and Muriel Bell..

Malcolm and Muriel Bell

Malcolm and Muriel Bell

Husband and wife Malcolm Bell Jr. and Muriel Barrow Bell pose in 1938. Two years later, the couple's photographs were published in Drums and Shadows, a photographic study of African American culture along the Georgia coast commissioned by the Federal Writers' Project.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

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Major Butler’s Legacy

Major Butler’s Legacy

Malcolm Bell Jr., an enthusiastic historian of Black culture and experience in the Georgia Lowcountry, published his major work with the University of Georgia Press in 1987. Major Butler's Legacy: Five Generations of a Slaveholding Family chronicles the lives of the Butler family of Savannah, who amassed great wealth through the use of enslaved labor.

Kenneth Coleman

Kenneth Coleman

Kenneth Coleman, shown here in 1975, was an authority on colonial Georgia as well as a prolific writer and editor. Coleman taught in the history department at the University of Georgia for twenty-one years and was an active member of several state historic preservation societies.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services

A History of Georgia

A History of Georgia

Kenneth Coleman served as general editor for A History of Georgia, which the University of Georgia Press published in 1977. A second edition was published in 1991.

Phinizy Spalding

Phinizy Spalding

Phinizy Spalding stands in front of a restoration project in Smithsonia. Spalding founded the Historic Cobbham Foundation and was active in the National and Georgia Trusts for Historic Preservation and the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Photographic Services

William Bacon Stevens

William Bacon Stevens

Today William Bacon Stevens's work, A History of Georgia, is considered the first scholarly attempt to tell the story of Georgia's past.

C. A. Bacote

C. A. Bacote

C. A. Bacote was a distinguished historian, scholar, and political activist who dedicated his life to educating Black voters in Atlanta. He was responsible for helping to register thousands of African American voters in the mid-1940s and for organizing them into a political force in the city.

Clarence A. Bacote

Clarence A. Bacote

As chair of the Atlanta All-Citizens Registration Committee in 1946, Clarence A. Bacote (right) increased the number of Black registered voters in Atlanta from 6,976 to 21,244.

Ulrich B. Phillips

Ulrich B. Phillips

Ulrich B. Phillips, a native of LaGrange, was the first major historian of the South and southern slavery. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Georgia before completing doctoral work in 1902 at the University of Chicago.

Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

Ulrich Bonnell Phillips

Georgia native Ulrich Bonnell Phillips was the first major historian of the South and of southern slavery. Phillips's best-known works are American Negro Slavery (1918) and Life and Labor in the Old South (1929).

Phillips Family, 1929

Phillips Family, 1929

In 1911 Ulrich Bonnell Phillips married Lucie Mayo-Smith (right). They had three children: (left to right) Ulrich Jr., Worthington, and Mabel.

History of Georgia

History of Georgia

Generations of Georgia whites gained their distinctive perspective on their state's past and its present condition from historian E. Merton Coulter's junior high school text, History of Georgia (New York: American Book, 1954).