Jamil Zainaldin, president of the Georgia Humanities Council, is a wonderful storyteller who will share tales of our state’s past and connect them to our present.

Auburn Avenue Research Library offers resources for and by the community

This week, in honor of Georgia Archives Month, REBECCA SHERMAN, project archivist at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, explores the newly renovated Auburn Avenue Research Library.

When the AARLreopened its doors this past August, the library’s staff and supporters envisioned the newly renovated space as an ideal location for hosting community cultural events. On Oct. 11, this vision came to fruition when a crowd gathered there for an event that highlighted collaborations between academic institutions, public libraries, and community organizations.

Sharing and saving community stories

This week, SHANEE’ MURRAIN, University Archivist at the University of West Georgia, explains how the university library’s Special Collections department empowers communities to tell their own stories.

As a recent transplant to the area and as the University Archivist harged with capturing, preserving, and making accessible content that is administratively and culturally significant to the University of West Georgia campus, I delight in hearing folk thoughtfully share the stories of their lives.

Uncovering hidden history

This week, ELYSE HILL, a professional genealogist, shares the stories of African American lives she’s uncovered in the archives.

As a genealogy researcher I’m always looking for records and documents that provide unique information about the lives of African Americans in the South. I’ve been fortunate to have found some interesting information about pre-Civil War free and enslaved persons in various resources housed in various archives. These stories offer a glimpse into the lives of African Americans and range from before the Civil War, when most were enslaved, to the war itself, to freedom.

Lessons learned from football — the Willie Davis effect

This week, BILL CURRY, a former NFL football player and college coach, shares how interracial friendship and cooperation on the football field changed his life. This is part four in a series of sports stories in association with “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” a traveling Smithsonian exhibition sponsored by Georgia Humanities.

In light of recent events that have traumatized every person of good will, and in the spirit of our “Hometown Teams” exhibition, I would like to relate a story about a football team, a terrified youngster, and a great man.

Shakespeare and the business model that made his plays must-reads

This week, in anticipation of the arrival of Shakespeare’s First Folio in Atlanta, JUSTIN SHAW, a graduate student at Emory University, shares the stories of the first four Shakespeare folios and their place in seventeenth-century culture.

What is the big deal with Shakespeare’s Second Folio (1632)? Or the Third (1663/4) or Fourth (1685) for that matter? For starters, they tell us about English print culture and help us understand the rise of Shakespeare from a producer of popular entertainment to a literary icon known the world over.

The reproductive rights movement has deep roots in Georgia

This week, ELLEN G. RAFSHOON, a professor of history at Georgia Gwinnett College, reveals Georgia’s role in the history of reproductive rights in America.

Civil liberties lawyers and obstetricians in Atlanta are collaborating to stop enforcement of Georgia’s 20-week abortion ban. In challenging the “fetal pain” law, they represent a largely unheralded tradition of reproductive rights advocacy in Georgia that has been as fervent as the opposition. Few are aware, however, that these activists based mostly in Atlanta have had a major impact on extending women’s access to birth control and abortion throughout the United States.

How the dome got its gold

This week, ALLISON HUTTON, of Georgia Humanities, traces the history of our state capitol’s distinctive gold dome.

If the sight of the gold dome atop our capitol inspires you, that’s a good thing. It should. Most state capitols are topped with domes, but of those, only ten are gilded. We have one of the largest here in Atlanta, but it wasn’t always gold. This is the story of how the dome got its gold.

AJC-Decatur Book Festival celebrates journalists, novelists, visionaries, and hip hop artists—reflecting a changing Atlanta

This week, DAREN WANG, founder and executive director of the AJC-Decatur Book Festival, discusses Atlanta’s changing literary scene.

The 11th annual AJC-Decatur Book Festival is happening this weekend, September 2-4. A few of the Atlanta writers we’ll be celebrating are Thomas Mullen, Jericho Brown, Joshilyn Jackson, Hank Klibanoff, Natasha Trethewey, Jessica Handler, Melissa Fay Greene, Tom Lux, and Kevin Young. Poets. Journalists. Novelists. Memoirists. Visionaries. Hip hop artists. These are the writers Atlanta should be celebrating.

We can rebuild it — 3D technology offers hope for the survival of our most endangered cultural assets

This week, RODNEY MIMS COOK JR., founder and president of the National Monuments Foundation and Millennium Gate Museum, discusses the value of 3D printing as a preservation tool.

Many individuals and states throughout time have sought to destroy the past and the shared history that unites us. Through 3D printing technology, the National Monuments Foundation is determined to ensure that global cultural assets — our inheritance of cultural treasures that document the lives, history, and creativity of our ancestors — remains with us and part of the human experience.

The Galloway School uncovers and honors building’s past as Fulton’s poorhouse

This week, BETH FAROKHI, a retired educator, recounts The Galloway School’s efforts to recognize the historic past of its campus.

Just as every person has a unique story, every building has a distinctive story to tell. The longer a building stands, the more stories it gathers. The rich memories may be hidden, but uncovering one story at a time brings life into its walls, ceilings, and floors. Walking through the doors or peering through the windows only reveals a small inkling of what treasures are lying in wait. Peeling back the layers of years and occupants and learning what happened within the building from those who witnessed its history brings a structure to life in ways that are surprising and fill the blank pages within its walls.

Early investments helped make Georgia a tourist destination

This week, GEORGIA HUMANITIES introduces “Seeing Georgia: Changing Visions of Tourism in Modern Georgia,” a digital exhibition that explores the development of tourism in Georgia.

With attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, the Savannah Book Festival, and museums and preserved historic properties located across the state, it should come as little surprise that tourism is one of Georgia’s top industries. “Seeing Georgia: Changing Visions of Tourism in Modern Georgia,” a digital exhibition developed in 2015 by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia, explores how Georgia’s tourism industry developed and transformed the state from a stop along the route to Florida to a place worth visiting in itself.

From Valley Forge to Gettysburg, experiencing history makes an impact

This week, CHARLIE CRAWFORD, president of the Georgia Battlefields Association, recalls the impact of childhood visits to historic sites.

Whether your ancestors arrived on the Mayflower or your family landed at Atlanta’s airport last year, you will be a better citizen and will be more prepared to cope with the disparate information that cascades towards us if you know how this country got to where it is. While you’ll learn from a visit to any historic site, whether it relates to the Revolutionary War or the struggle for civil rights, you should have some knowledge of the Civil War, quite likely the greatest crisis this nation ever faced. I want those battlefields to be around for this and every succeeding generation.

Digital history in the making with Antioch A.M.E. History Project

This week, JULIA BROCK, of the University of West Georgia’s Center for Public History, and TIGNER RAND, of Antioch A.M.E. Church in Stone Mountain, discuss their work to preserve the history of a local church.

Antioch A.M.E. was the first African American church to be founded in Decatur after the Civil War (1868), and from its earliest days was more than a place of spiritual sustenance. It was instrumental in helping blacks define freedom after the end of slavery. And yet, the history of Antioch — at least, in its physical records — does not exist in any archive. A group of public historians and church members is trying to change that.

Students tell the stories that make us a nation through National History Day

This week, DAVID A. DAVIS, a professor at Mercer University, explains the ways students grow when they take a closer look at history with National History Day.

Most Americans have a story about how their family came to this country. With the exception of Native Americans, most people who call themselves Americans can look back to a point when immigrants came to this country. Some came by choice, and some came by force. This is an important point, because not all of our stories are happy and heroic. We have stories about wars, disasters, diseases, and failures, but we also have stories about exploration, growth, human rights, and success. What makes us a nation is how these stories fit together in an overlapping narrative that defines the United States. What makes National History Day most important is the way these students learn to tell the stories that make us a nation.

A friend of America’s first presidents, Andrew Ellicott put Georgia on the map

This week, columnist WILLIAM J. MORTON, author of Andrew Ellicott: The Stargazer Who Defined America, introduces Andrew Ellicott, the early American surveyor who helped determine Georgia’s boundaries.

Andrew Ellicott and the state of Georgia? “Never heard of him” would be the response of most Georgians — and most Americans. Though understudied by historians, Andrew Ellicott’s work as a surveyor was respected by America’s early presidents, and he played a key role in determining boundaries within the young nation.

From ballpark to Ponce City Market, this magnolia has survived a century in the city

This week, CHRIS DOBBS, assistant editor of the New Georgia Encyclopedia, shares the story of the Ponce de Leon Ballpark magnolia tree, part two in our series of sports stories in association with Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America, a traveling Smithsonian exhibition sponsored by Georgia Humanities.

The Ponce de Leon Ballpark magnolia tree, located near 650 Ponce de Leon Place, N.E., was recently named by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of the “20 Atlanta trees you should know” — with good reason. The tree is between 90 and 100 years old. It has a great view of the Atlanta Beltline, and over the past century, it’s had a great view of Atlantans working and relaxing together.

What Henry Grady can teach Atlanta about sustainable growth

This week guest contributor WILLIAM D. BRYAN, a Georgia State University professor of environmental history, explores the concept of “constructive, not destructive, development” devised by Georgia’s “New South” economic leaders.

It may seem counterintuitive to look to Henry Grady for advice about sustainability. As the famed editor of the Atlanta Constitution, Grady is best known as the spokesman for a “New South” of industrialism and urbanization after the Civil War — a vision that depended on intensively using valuable resources like soil, timber, and minerals to fuel economic growth. The poor environmental legacies of New South development are still evident, especially in Atlanta.

Cheers to collaboration: Oakland Cemetery creates a new beer with Red Brick Brewing Company

This week, ALLISON HUTTON, program coordinator at Georgia Humanities, shares the story of the special relationship between Atlanta’s oldest cemetery and its oldest brewery.

In the creation of a limited-edition beer for Tunes from the Tombs, Oakland Cemetery provides the featured ingredient and Red Brick Brewing Company provides the expertise.