The Special Collections of the DeKalb History Center consist of many disparate groups of primary documents. Court records, personal papers, school documents, photographs, and post office records are all found within the Special Collections. Finding aids for each collection (if available) can be accessed by clicking on the collection title.
(Accession # 1998.31 - Papers: 4 boxes)
Dora Akins Jones was born in 1886 in Doraville, Georgia. She went to school in Doraville and attended Prospect Methodist Church. In the early 1900s she married Carlos Jones, who would go on to become mayor of Doraville. The Akins-Jones Papers are composed mainly of letters, receipts, and religious literature. Included in the collection are mementos from Samuel McElroy (Dora¹s grandfather and an early nineteenth century schoolteacher), correspondence and possessions of Dora¹s aunt, Mary Sparks, religious literature collected by Dora Akins Jones through a span of seventy-two years, and personal correspondences between Dora Akins and her husband Carlos Jones.
(Accession # 1984.248 - Papers: 1 box)
The Antique Lovers Club Collection contains records documenting the organization from its founding in 1938 until 1983. Included are meeting minutes (1938-1983), membership directories (1940s & 1950s), a guest book from 1952-1953, and a 1967 organization scrapbook, which includes letters and photographs of the club¹s activities and samples of club stationary and programs.
(Accession unknown FITS.413 - Papers: 38 boxes)
The collection is primarily voter’s oath sheets for 1936-1940 for the DeKalb county districts of Decatur, East Lake, Courthouse, Emory, Kirkwood, East Atlanta, Diamond, Brookhaven, Edgewood, Oakhurst, Lithonia, Doraville, Browning, Shallowford, Cross Keys, Chamblee, Redan, Stone Mountain, Panthersville, Clarkston, Evans, Mills and Avondale, among others. These are original documents and often have the address, occupation, ethnicity and date of birth for the signer of the oath. Sometimes there are other documents attached, usually the transfer of voter and tax information from another county when someone moves to DeKalb.
(Accession # 1985.44, 1999.17, 2010.12- Papers: 5 boxes)
Aurelia Austin (1912-1998) was a DeKalb author and genealogist. The collection contains some of Austin¹s unpublished works, original poetry, and genealogy notes on several families, including the following surnames: Austin, Bullock, Cochran, Gower, Hambrick, Henry, Hartman Wirz, Hudson, Thompson, and Wells. There are also several photographs associated with these families in the collection. Books of poetry include: "Christmas in Beauty", "Red Top", "Tall Timber" and "Bright Feathers". Also in this collection is Austin¹s compiled information about Jackson Hill Baptist Church.
(Accession # 1989.42 - Photographs: 4 boxes, 2 boxes negatives)
William Black was the photographer for the Chamblee High School yearbook from the late 1940 through the late 1960s and this collection is comprised of photographs of various Chamblee High School activities. Included in this collection are photographs of the football team, basketball team, Miss Juno Beauty Pageant, cheerleaders, the Powder Puff Football game, and various pictures from the prom. There are some photographs from Druid Hills High School and the W.D. Thompson School in the collection. Also additional photos of Doraville Police Department, the Fire Department at Emory, the Dogwood Festival Princess, an AARP reception, George Busbee, the Swan Coach House, Chamblee Lodge members, and the Sagamore Hills Bridge Party.
(Accession # 2014.06 - Papers: 4 boxes, 1 oversize box and Photographs: 1 1/2 boxes)
James G. Bogle was a DeKalb County resident from 1956 until his death in 2010. He was an active member of the DeKalb Historical Society and the Atlanta Historical Society. He served in the U.S. Army for 31 years, retiring in 1967 with the rank of Colonel. As an amateur photographer, Bogle took photographs of many historic sites around Georgia, including Stone Mountain. The James G. Bogle collection contains photographs, slides, periodicals publications, and memorabilia associated with Stone Mountain, DeKalb Historical Society, the Mary Gay House, historic Georgia sites, and railroads.
(Accession # 1988.48 - Papers: 2 boxes)
Emily Campbell Boland (1908-1998) was a longtime resident of DeKalb County and this collection is composed primarily of her diaries and scrapbooks. The personal diaries are from 1923-1984 and they document her days as a student in the Decatur school system as well as her adult life. Included in this collection are three World War II ration books, programs for the Twentieth Century Coterie Club, and photographs of Boland's younger brother, James Alexander Campbell Jr.
(Papers: 3 boxes and ephemera)
This collection contains records from Decatur Troops #1, #107, and #175 as well as Clarkston Troop #1 and Stone Mountain Troop #70. Most of the materials are on the Decatur Troops and the materials include original charters, membership rolls (1918-1936), applications, and individual scout records. Histories of the various troops are also included.
(Accession # 2003.47 - Papers: 3 folders and 13 scrapbooks)
The Briarcliff Woods Garden Club scrapbook collection contains thirteen scrapbooks that document the activities and members of the garden club from 1967 until 1992, including photographs and newspaper clippings.
(Accession # 2001.13 - Papers: 3 boxes and 4 scrapbooks)
This collection contains a large amount of the Broadhurst extended family’s personal information. John Phillips was a DeKalb County doctor for many years, and his medical records are stored here. There are also family photos, correspondence between Dr. Phillips and Mary Burke, his wife, from the 1890’s, several folders of Mary Emma Phillips Broadhurst’s personal affects including letters, diaries, journals and detached scrapbook items. Mary Emma Broadhurst created the scrapbooks in the collection.
(Accession #1991.10 - Postcards: 1 box)
The Brooke Postcard Collection consists of cards depicting Stone Mountain. The collection contains scenes of the Confederate Memorial carved on the mountain, of the mountain itself, and of the town and park bearing the same name.
(Accession # 1996.50 - Papers: 1 box)
The Brookhaven Planning Council Records include three scrapbooks and assorted clippings and writings. These scrapbooks cover the Brookhaven community's growth in the 1950¹s through photos, news clippings and correspondence. Some of the topics covered in these scrapbooks include: the North DeKalb Health Center, the library, the fire department, the health center, the post office, Murphy Candler Park, the Brookhaven Methodist Church, and the Skyland School. There are also 1913 maps that are copies of the layout of the Fernwood Estates.
(Accession # 1986.430 - Papers: 1 box)
The Burgess Collection contains documents from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection includes DeKalb County Superior Court records, including subpoenas to testify at court. Also included are receipts from Ansley's pharmacy. This collection also consists of various Civil War memorabilia, such as Confederate songs, patriotic poems, and war ribbons.
Byrd, Harold Post No. 66 American Legion
(Accession # 1985.166 - Scrapbook: 1 volume)
Scrapbook created by Lanier A. Billups, 1930-1955. The American Legion is a veterans group and the Harold Byrd Post is the Decatur representation; the group met in Avondale Estates and was organized in 1919. They disbanded but reorganized in 1930 with 45 members. The scrapbook is a collection of photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings and copies of The Byrd Call, the official news bulletin. Included is an autobiography of member Robert K. "Tubby" Whiteford and programs for events held by the post.
(Accession # FITS.409 - Papers: 1 box)
Murphey Candler was a local attorney and the brother of Scott Candler, Sr., the sole DeKalb County Commissioner from 1939-1955. The Murphy Candler papers are composed mostly of essays and writings on the early history of DeKalb County and the city of Decatur. Subjects of the writings include public schools, churches, the city council, and the history of some of the residents of DeKalb County, such as Attorney General George M. Napier, Major W.J. Houston, and Rev. Donald Fraser. These documents cover a period from the mid-1800's through the early 1900¹s.
(Accession # 2001.53 - Papers: 16 boxes)
The Scott Candler Sr. collection consists of primarily property records from DeKalb and Fulton counties. The collection goes back as far as 1917 and carries through the mid-1930s. There are plat maps and photographs of properties, correspondence and legal papers. There are also folders of correspondence with mortgage and insurance companies.
(Accession # 2008.45 - Papers and books: 1 box)
The Warren Akin Candler Collection is a small collection with some unique items. There is an invitation to the Roosevelt White House in 1935, a bible given to John C. Candler from W.A. Candler, diplomas and a boutonniere worn by Candler for the party celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary in 1927
(Accession # 2009.3, 2009.14, 2010.10 and FITS.222, 2011.3 - 3 document boxes, plus maps and oversized items and ephemera)
The Carr Collection contains business and government documents, photographs, maps and blueprints and items from the Carr Family and from the Houston Mill. There are 4 scrapbooks of photographs, one of Harry Tate from birth, including his birth announcement from the newspaper, and others of family outings, pets and friends. There are business cards from the Carr Construction Company and association pins and medals. The photographs are primarily from the 1920s and 1930s.
(Photographs and subject files)
The photograph collection seems to have been gathered in house, in order to have cemetery photographs together in one place, so they have been taken at different times, there are black and white and color photographs, and some have accession numbers. The cemetery files are with the subject files and the backbone of the collection is a copy of the Franklin Garrett cemetery files gathered in the 1930s and we thank the Atlanta History Center for allowing us to have copies. The originals reside there.
(Accession # FITS.419 - Photographs: 1 box)
Winn Christensen was a former staff member of the DeKalb Historical Society. This collection contains miscellaneous photographs of Decatur, 1991-1992. Included are pictures of the following sites: Decatur cemetery, Mary Gay House, Swanton House, Biffle Cabin, Barber Cabin, High House, Marble House, DeKalb Federal, Maloof Building, and Decatur City Hall.
(Accession # L2011.22 - Papers: currently 14 boxes)
The City of Decatur documents include a wide range of topics pertaining to the city and its administration, including libraries, parks, street improvements, the historic courthouse on the square, urban renewal, Swanton House, Decatur cemetery, Decatur Fire Station No. 1, Oakhurst, Herring Street and Trinity Schools, water and sewer improvements and blackout ordinances during World War II. There is a bound copy of a Decatur city directory from 1928-1929, which includes Avondale Estates, Emory University, and Scottdale. There are original bills from the construction of the City Hall building. Please see separate Excel file with a detailed list of folders and materials in them. There are also documents relating to the purchase of fire trucks and equipment for the fire department. One of the earliest documents is the 1899 Decatur Bill No. 273 establishing the public school system.
The documents cover 1899 to 2009 and the collection is still growing.
A detailed Excel spreadsheet of the collection is available HERE.
This spreadsheet is also available at our Ancestry.com page HERE along with indexed images of the minute book cards, which detail highlights of Decatur's history; the records begin in 1873.
City of Decatur Recreation and Community Service Photographs
(Accession # 2005.13 – Photographs and 13 scrapbooks)
About 200 photographs of various Decatur Rec Center activities, many from the 1940s and 1950s; 13 scrapbooks with newspaper clippings and more photographs, and an Annual Report from 1945.
(Papers: 1 box)
This collection includes letters, muster rolls and confederate currency dating from 1860 to 1872 as well as a booklet on the history of the 42nd Infantry Regiment dating from 1900. Many of the letters were written by DeKalb resident DeWitt Morgan to Missouri Stokes in the years prior to his death. The muster rolls found in the collection are for the companies in which Morgan served during the Civil War. Another notable item in the collection is a handwritten copy of a letter from former Union army General William T. Sherman to S.A. Marshall in 1866.
(Accession: 1995.28 - Papers: 5 boxes, 1 scrapbook box, maps)
The Caroline McKinney Clarke Papers contain copies of archival records and books, along with newspaper clippings that the author used to write her book, The Story of Decatur. The papers include drafts of her manuscript and photographs. A scrapbook with clippings from 1929-1931 and a bookkeeping journal from the late 1800s are also included.
(Accession # 1985.30 - Photographs: 1 box)
This is a small collection of photographs of the Clarke family and some DeKalb County snapshots. Included are photographs of Elijah Henry Clarke and family history documents. Portraits of Clarke family members include William H. Clarke, Albert A. Clarke, Mary Jane Burdette, Elijah Henry Clarke, Stephen A. Stovall, Benjamin White, George Haynes, Eugene Clark, and Marion Clarke. The collection also includes pictures of Stone Mountain, the East Atlanta School (1917) and miscellaneous photographs of DeKalb County Firemen (c. 1955).
(Accession # L1980.9 on permanent loan – Documents: 1 box, scrapbooks)
The Clement A. Evans Camp collection is made primarily scrapbooks kept by camp historian B.F. Wilkins. Some of the notebooks were deteriorating so the materials have been removed and safely filed, and the notebooks have been separated. There are three scrapbooks with newspaper clippings, photographs and programs, a folder with membership forms filled out by members, the charter for the camp from 1959 and the constitution for the group. There is also a wooden gavel made from timber taken from the Swanton House.
(Accession # FITS.49 - Papers: 1/2 box)
The Clifton Academy Collection contains documents relating to Clifton Academy, including 11 months of daily attendance records, yearly attendance for 1858, five sets of laws and rules for the school, and miscellaneous papers included with the records. Teacher/principal surnames includes Huey and Wells.
(Access # 2001.16, 2001.18, 2001.26, 2008.52, 2008.56 - Papers and scrapbooks: 5 document boxes and 1 scrapbook box)
The George Coletti Elias Nour Collection contains primarily information on Elias Nour, the “Old Man of the Mountain, and spans the early 1900s to 1995. The collection’s high point is the photographs which range from Butterfly McQueen at Stone Mountain Park, Elias Nour’s family, the city of Stone Mountain and the 1970 park dedication. There are numerous newspaper clippings from 1913 to the 1980s as well, including the succession of sculptors needed to complete the confederate memorial on the side of the mountain, attractions in the park, and many of the various people rescued by Nour. There are also 1990s-era reports on the stability and repair of the carving.
(Accession # 2008.2 - Papers: 2 boxes)
The collection of made up of materials removed from the time capsule that was buried before construction of the Columbia Mall, later called the Avondale Mall. When Wal-Mart was to be built on the site, the items from the time capsule were donated. The collection consists of several newspapers from the time of the burial, July 1964, government reports on the area including a census map and Chamber of Commerce
Atlanta magazines and photographs. There is a folder on the Colley family, which includes a letter and photograph of Denise Gay and her sister Mary Shauna, a tour map and articles and news releases on the ground breaking ceremony in April 1963.
(Accession # FITS.405 - Papers: 3 document boxes)
The Confederate Veterans' and Widows' Pensions Collection contains pension lists from approximately 1918-1934. These documents list names, amount paid, and the address of the pensioner. In addition, death lists are included at the end of each year. The collection also consists of soldiers' and widows' applications for pensions, usually dating from 1897-1907.
(Accession # 1985.207, 1983.217- Papers: 1 box of diaries, 3 folders and ephemera)
William Cordes (1890-1968) was general counsel of the Retail Credit Company of Atlanta, GA and a veteran of WWI. This collection contains detailed schedules in book form of his daily work activities from 1952-1968 as well as a couple of photographs of him in uniform and at his desk at the Retail Credit Company of Atlanta.
(Accession # 1997.11 - Records: 4 folders)
The Covenant Presbyterian Church collection includes correspondence, a flyer for family night, articles of constitution, and documents establishing the church in the old Scottdale Elementary School on the corner of East Ponce de Leon and Laredo Drive in Scottdale. Also included are church bulletins handed out during services.
(Accession # 2011.14 - Papers: 5 folders and 4 yearbooks)
The folders are arranged by the year of the yearbook from which they were removed, so the 1943 folder has clippings from that book. As a result, the articles and materials relate to photographs of students in those volumes. The result in a kind of personal history of students Ruby Crawford knew and taught during her time at Decatur Boys' High School. There is also a folder of loose items, which contains a typewritten class skit, Christmas cards, invitations and a war department letter from a student in 1945. The yearbooks reside in our yearbook collection in the reading room.
(Accession # 1983.245, 1984.260 - Papers: 7 1/3 boxes)
This collection contains a list of all the committees and members of the Chamber of Commerce from the early 1960s, meeting minutes, budgets, letters and newspaper clippings. There are committees having to do with membership, aviation, education and a new junior college. There are two folders on another Chamber president, Claude Blount. Committee folders also include newspaper clippings on the topics, showing public opinion on various issues. Daley served on many committees as well, and the wide range is demonstrated by the materials, including Brookhaven, Northside Hospital, Marist School, the system that was to eventually become MARTA and the Red Cross. There are also materials on roads, schools and the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges.
(Accession # 1986.95 - Papers: 5 document boxes, four scrapbooks, 6 boxes bound DAR magazines)
This collection contains information on the Baron DeKalb Chapter of the D.A.R. It includes meeting minutes from 1912-1938, yearbooks from the late 1940s through the 1970s, ancestor charts for several members, Civil War poems by Geneva Davies, and a citizenship manual for members. The collection also consists of five scrapbooks from the 1930s and the 1950s. Some meeting minutes from the Roswell King Chapter are included.
(Accession # 1979.100 - Papers: 1 box)
Robert F. Davis was a member of Company E, 7th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia ("DeKalb Light Infantry"). He was made a 3rd Corporal on May 29, 1861, elected a Jr. 2nd Lt. on May 12, 1862, and a 2nd Lt. on November 9, 1862. He surrendered at Appomattox, Va. April 9, 1865. The Davis Collection is made up of the family papers of many individuals; letters, and twelve small notebooks covering the years 1850-1893. These books contain diary notes, memoranda, farm accounts and expenses, and notes on the weather. There are also many land deed documents and several copies of South Carolina Historical Magazine. The achievements for Anne, Clara and Olivia Davis come from the years 1892-1912.
(Accession #1986.61 - Papers: 7 folders)
James C. Davis (1895-1981) was a Democratic Congressman from Georgia (1947-1963) and a State Representative from DeKalb County (1931-1934). His papers contain legislative manuals from the 1960s and 1970s, the House of Representatives Rules Manual for the 71st Congress, and a Georgia Directory of State and County Officers from 1965. A list of donations made to his campaign and letters to Judge Thomas L. Camp are included, also a metal stamp made in a man's image and a copy of the Georgia Constitution.
(Accession # FITS.353 - Papers: 2 folders)
The Decatur Bar Association records were notebooks of presumably one person. There are handwritten notes and minutes, plus more formal typed copies, correspondence, receipts for meeting spaces, expenses materials and resolutions adopted by the association. The organization today is the DeKalb County Bar Association.
Decatur City Schools Reports
(Accession # 2002.74 - Documents - 1 document box)
1. School Plant Survey, 30 June 1960, Carl G. Renfroe, Superintendent
2. Trinity High School, Re-evaluation Report, 12 March 1959
3. Curriculum Framework for High Schools in Decatur, Ga., 1 June 1965
4. Evaluation of The City Schools of Decatur, Decatur, Georgia, 1958-1959
(Accession # 2002.11 - Scrapbooks - 25 boxes)
The Decatur City Schools Collection is composed of scrapbooks that date from the school years 1938 – 1939 to 1970 - 1971. The books contain but are not limited to newspaper clippings, PTA bulletins, newsletters, event bulletins, letters, achievements, sports news, Student Council bulletins, Student Council events and community service projects.
(Accession # 1981.124, 2002.100, 2011.6 - Documents - 2 document boxes, 1 scrapbook box)
The Decatur Federal Collection comes from different sources, each with a different focus. There are documents on Robin Harris, descendent of Joel Chandler Harris and state representative and Decatur Federal and Julius McCurdy, a founder of the bank. There are organizational records such as a stock purchase ledger. Records range from 1924 through the 1990s.
(Accession #1978.9 – Papers and ledger, 6 folders)
The Decatur Home Guards collection includes correspondence, a ledger, rosters and various receipts from the World War I era, covering 1917-1919.
(Accession # 2005.13 – Photographs – 1 document box, 13 scrapbooks)
The collection includes 13 scrapbooks and 190 loose photographs. The scrapbooks start in 1941 and go into the 1990s. There are newspaper clippings, flyers and newsletters, correspondence and photographs. Photographs are here of summer camps, Decatur pool, dances and contests. The Department is now called Active Living.
(Accession # 1996.16 - Papers: 3 boxes, 3 scrapbooks)
The Decatur Womans Club Records (1908-1990) document the clubs activities from its founding in 1924 until 1990. Although not comprehensive, the Club records include meeting minutes, scrapbooks, yearbooks, publicity notebooks, and materials placed in a time capsule when the first clubhouse was dedicated in 1926. The Decatur Womans Club, affiliated with the Georgia State Federation of Women's Clubs, provides support for benevolent and civic activities.
(Accession # 2001.31/unknown - Papers: 2 document boxes)
The DeKalb Cable Television collection consists of correspondence, license applications and citizens’ advisory board minutes from the early 1980s when DeKalb was trying to get cable television service to more areas of the county. There is also a second box with reports on cable television in Lithonia, south and east DeKalb County and Cable DeKalb’s Community program production progress report for public access programming.
(Accession # FITS.304 – Papers: 3 document boxes)
The DeKalb County Bicentennial Commission Collection consists of documents relating to the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial celebrations and the events that the county researched and organized for the nation’s 200th birthday. There are also meeting minutes from the commission and publicity, press releases and newspaper clippings. Most of the records are from early 1975 through 1976.
(Accession # 1996.10 & 2004.9- Papers: 4 document boxes)
This collection contains minutes and related documents of the DeKalb County Bond Commission, which voted on bonds for raising money for county improvements, including roads and streets, fire stations, libraries, traffic improvements and public parks. The records start with the first meeting on March 20, 1957 and go through 1973.
DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce Scrapbook
(Accession # 2011.1 - Papers: 1 record center box (original) and 1 document box (Access))
Access copy has been photocopied and is available for research. County business, agricultural fairs and events like horse shows and 4-H programs are included. There is also information on DeKalb moving from a primarily agricultural economy to an industrial one, with the building of the General Motors plant in the 1940s. Scrapbooks are primarily newspaper clippings, but there are programs from meetings as well.
(Accession # FITS.418 - Papers: 1/2 document box)
A collection of seven years of the DeKalb County Annual Development Report, 1992-1998. Included in the reports are such things as land use statistics, residential construction activity, major building permits, zoning and rezoning activity, population information and public and private sector development, such as water and sewer, libraries, schools and public safety.
(Accession # 2004.2 - Papers: 9 boxes)
The information is primarily filed by date in chronological order, but near the end of the collection, original order was preserved and chronological order is broken somewhat. The materials in the collection are mostly annual reports, and sometimes the materials used to put them together, board minutes and two folders of clients’ letters, which have been typed, preserving spelling and grammar errors. There are also several photographs of the Lynwood Nursery School from May 1955.
Restriction: Any use of records in this collection must not include any names of recipients of services from the Department of Family and Children’s Services.
(Accession # 1980.28 - Papers: 5 document boxes)
The DeKalb County Government Reorganization Commission documents include correspondence, newspaper clippings and research, sign in sheets from public hearings and text for a radio public service announcement. Also included are meeting minutes and drafts, notes and the completed final report sent in November 1979. The documents range from 1971 until 1980.
(Accession # FITS.411 - Papers: 2 document boxes)
The Justice of the Peace Records include eight dockets maintained by the Justices of the Peace. Six of the dockets contain civil proceedings, and the other two dockets contain criminal suits. The dockets cover the 1880s-1960, and were compiled by several Justices of the Peace, including H.J. Mathews and J.H. Young.
(Accession # 1947.10 - Papers: 13 boxes)
The DeKalb County Land Title Abstracts are boxes of title searches arranged by district and land lot. They are invaluable when doing research of DeKalb County property. Not every land lot is represented, and district 15 is the most represented, but districts 14 in Fulton County and districts 15, 16, 17 and 18 in DeKalb County are present. There are also a handful of abstracts from Carlton, Cobb, Gilmer and Pike counties.
(Accession # 1985.10 - Papers: 4 boxes)
The DeKalb County Schools Collection is composed of materials dealing with the function, composition, and schedules of the DeKalb County School System from the 1940s-1980s. The collection provides a wealth of statistical information covering a range of topics from busing expenses to attendance percentages by year. It also has folders dealing with Jim Cherry, the county superintendent from the late 1940s-1970s. The collection contains DeKalb School calendars from 1954-82, and folders with brochures, reports, pamphlets, and programs covering 1950s-1970s.
(Accession # 1947.2 - Papers: 4 document boxes and 1 ledger)
The loose documents are primarily land records, deeds, mortgages, most of them paid in full, sheriff’s sales records and a road crew list. There are scattered documents on juries and Inferior court matters as well as oaths taken by county officers and an 1820 plat and deed from the 1820 land lottery that divided DeKalb County into land lots for the first time. There is also a ledger of court minutes. This is the only volume of official county records that survived the 1842 courthouse fire. The volume covers all cases tried in the DeKalb Superior Court from 1836-1843. Please call ahead for an appointment to view this volume.
(Accession # 1987.41 - Records: 1 box)
The tax receipts are the original forms of tax deeds from 1916-1929. Not all of the receipts from each year are included in the collection.
(Accession # 2008.8 - Documents: 15 boxes)
The deeds were found in the basement of the Pythagoras lodge in downtown Decatur and were given to the history center by Bob Espy to become part of his family collection. The earliest deeds are from the 1920s and there are also those from the 1950s, but the bulk of the collection is from 1930s and 1940s. The deeds are on old and acidic copy paper that is crumbling, so care must be taken when handling them.
(Accession # 1947.5 - documents and photographs: 5 boxes)
The DHC collection includes photographs from organization events such as historic marker dedications, the annual Heritage Festivals, the arrival of the Olympic Torch and the Menaboni artwork in 1996. There are pictures of lectures given, Christmas celebrations and different iterations of the museum spaces. There are also photographs of the MARTA groundbreaking.
The DeKalb Historical Society, as it was originally known, was formed in 1947.
(Minimally processed color and black and white slides: 9 slide storage boxes)
The DeKalb History Center Slide Collection is currently 9 slide boxes of black and white and color slides. There are slide presentations that have been donated, slides of postcards and photographs in the DHC collection and slides of Old Courthouse renovations and the 1991 Renovation Campaign. There are also slides of the DHC Museum and offices, as well as local churches houses and buildings. Slides presentations include the Civil War in DeKalb, The Lesser Known Colonial Coast and We're Your Partners from Decatur Federal Bank.
(Unprocessed - Accession # 1998.6 and 1998.37 - Photographs in various forms: approx. 9 boxes)
Boxes of photographs, proof sheets, negatives, and correspondence from DeKalb News/Sun (1971-1991); one box of photographs of Tucker Days; two boxes of corporate photographs, folders of photographic prints sorted by subject. Photographs within folders range in age, though they seem to generally be from before 1993. Photographs of the News / Sun staff used in company newsletters. Three ring binders full of color slides. These slides include photographs taken between 1984 and 1988.
(Accession # 2010.28 - Papers: 14 boxes)
The files were found in the basement of the Pythagoras lodge which had been used for storage by the DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department. In the effort to clean up the building, some documents were lost, so this collection represents only a part of the original collection. This part of the Espy collection is documents from the DeKalb County Parks and Recreation department and includes information on local parks, summer activity programs, applications for Land Water Conservation Fund money, scrapbook, financial information about repairs and expansions of parks and services and bids for Olympic tennis stadium venues. It covers 1952-1995.
(Accession # 1982.153 - Scrapbooks: 3 volumes)
The Alpha Kappa chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society teacher’s organization has three volumes of newspaper clippings, certificates, photographs, programs and postcards from attendance at conventions. They cover roughly the time period of 1954 until 1971.
(Accession # FITS.417 - Scrapbooks: 6 volumes)
The six scrapbooks in the Lambda chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society include information spanning 1954 until 1983. There are photographs, newspaper clippings and postcards from tours and conventions attended by members.
(Accession # FITS.300.0 - Scrapbooks: 2 volumes)
These two later scrapbooks of the Lambda chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society include information spanning 1988 until 1992. There are photographs, newspaper clippings and postcards from tours and conventions attended by members.
(Accession # 1999.15 - Records: 1 box and ephemera)
The books contained in this collection are of employee time records (1947-1951), four volumes of registers of money orders issued (1926-1930, 1930-1936, 1937, and 1943). There is also a 4th class postmaster¹s account book for 1925-1927 and 1928-1930. A United States flag that was flown over the post office and a Doraville post office stamp is also included.
(Accession: 2011.19 - Papers: 3 folders)
Walt Drake's papers contain a summary of the 1998 Decatur Rotary Club meetings, as well as the history of various people and events in Decatur, such as Lefty Driesell and Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers.
(Accession # 1982.175 - Scrapbook)
The East Lake Garden Club scrapbook is a collection of information and clippings concerning the organization and its activities from 1936 to 1940. The scrapbook is organized in reverse chronological order, starting with 1940. Each year’s section provides the names of the officers, current members and usually includes the current yearbook. There are newspaper clippings concerning the organization and its members, photographs of plants and gardening tips. There is also information on the annual spring garden show with the awards won by East Lake members.
(Accessions 2008.8, 2007.16, 2010.27, 2010.28 - Papers: 18 boxes; scrapbooks and ephemera)
The Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Espy IV Collection includes information on Decatur First United Methodist Church, Decatur First Baptist Church, the DeKalb Board of Realtors, the DeKalb Association of Realtors, multiple sales contracts for the DeKalb/Atlanta area, the Lions Club, The Sons of Confederate Veterans Stone Mountain Memorial Camp 1432, the Smoke Rise Community (see Smoke Signals in our Reference and periodical section), the Grand Jurors Association, the Urban Development Committee for DeKalb County, Pythagoras Lodge #41 Free and Accepted Masons, and many other items from the mid-twentieth century to the present date.
See also DeKalb Deeds, DeKalb Parks and Recreation and Brince Manning, also included in the Espy Collection.
(Accession # 2013.1 – 12 folders)
The Paul Estes Collection includes newspaper clippings from his time as DeKalb County Coroner in the 1940s, and some photographs of his involvement in the Decatur Pool and the American Legion Harold Byrd Post 66. There is a Decatur Boys’ High School yearbook from 1946 that is dedicated to Estes included in the collection. In 1938 he was elected to the office of the county coroner and he served until his death in September 1945.
(Accession # 1985.25 - Papers: 3 boxes)
The Everhart Collection contains photos, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence and genealogy information on both George M. Everhart and Laurence Everhart. George M. Everhart (1826-1891) was an Episcopal minister who once preached before the Confederate Cabinet. Laurence Everhart (1903-1984) was a teacher, concert pianist, and a former music department director at Limestone College in Gaffney, SC. The collection also contains a piece of the Great Wall of China, which one of the Everharts procured during a trip to China.
(Accession # 1994.22 - Papers: 4 boxes)
The Executive Club Collection arrived in a series of notebooks. The documents have been processed and those notebooks’ contents kept together, even when years overlap. Consequently, there are several groups of folders for 1988. This is to preserve the original order. There is insurance information, rental agreements, member and director minutes, financial information and correspondence. There are even three 8 x 10 color photographs of an organization dinner. There is a flyer announcing that the Executive Club will be providing “light lunch items” in the lobby of the Decatur Federal Building, where they leased space. As of 2011, Wells Fargo is now in the Decatur Federal Building. The collection was donated by a member and former president of the club, Margaret Fairleigh.
(Accession # 2001.28 – Papers: 1 box)
The collection contained black paperboard notebooks with songbooks put together by hand, taped to pages and assembled, possibly put together for a group. There was another notebook put together by hand and labeled inside “Police Quartet, Jack Langdon, Second Tenor, Police Dept. Atlanta, Georgia.” From inside the Talton bible: Greenville Henderson had a son, William Griffith Henderson whose daughter Nancy Ann married Henry Talton who owned much of the land, now inside I-285, on Lawrenceville Highway.
(Accession # 2011.27 - Paper dolls: 2 boxes)
The Fink Collection is primarily paper dolls from the mid-1900s. They are organized into folders of dolls’ names, but there are also some that are unknown. There is a set of Gone with the Wind dolls, and a small set of for film star Lana Turner. Folders are organized the way they arrived, by doll name, even if it is not definitely known by the person who originally organized the collection, probably Beverly Lynn Fink. There are 10 folders of dolls that were separated out and grouped together, and they have been labeled unidentified set to retain original order.
(Accession # 2002.93 - Papers: 5 folders and a scrapbook)
The collection contains photographs, a scrapbook from the 1967 bank opening, others from the 1950s and a diagram of the bank vault that was put in by the Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company in 1929. The collection is a history of the bank from the 1920s through the 1960s. There is also a photograph of the W.H. Weekes home that was on the site before the bank was constructed, a Decatur aerial view from January 1967 and a museum-type display on banking.
(Accession # 1993.4, 2009.4 - Papers: 6 folders)
This is a small collection of advertisements from the late 1800s and early 1900s, and family letters of the Flowers and Chesnut families. The documents provide information on the early history of Doraville. Dr. George Newton Flowers (1837-1917) was a physician, postmaster, merchant, and farmer in Doraville.
(Accession # 2008.60 - Papers: 1 document box and 1 record center box)
This collection contains materials related to Ben S. Forkner, prominent Avondale real estate developer, DeKalb County Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce board member, and father of Waffle House founder Tom Forkner. Of particular note is an extensive collection of 1920s-era 8 X 10 photographs depicting architecture, interiors, and events of the City of Avondale Estates and the former City of Ingleside. The collection contains two scrapbooks, primarily relating to Avondale Estates (Judge Candler's Mileybright dairy farm), news and garden clippings, and an 1878 Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms.
Forkner Drive Civic Club
(Accession # 1991.28 - Scrapbook)
Front page of the scrapbook says:
"Dedicated to the men in the Armed Forces of Forkner Drive in memory of Ben S. Forkner Jr. and in honor of the following:
G.M. Scott, L.J. Bolton, T.W. Edge, C.F. Girtman, C.B. Massengale, H.C. McKoy, J.C. Newsome, Leland Ball, C.L. Yeager, A.M. Ammons."
The club began in 1941 with a meeting and vote to form as a way to getting to know each other and to work on improvments to the street. Committees were formed for street paving, sewers, telephone rates and city mail delivery. The group also published The Tattler, "for the benefit of the boys in the services." The scrapbook has many letters from servicemen writing to say they are enjoying the newsletter. There are also financial records, cancelled checks and statements for the club.
(Accession # 2008.53 - Papers: 1 document box, ephemera)
The General Motors Collection contains materials from the Doraville plant. Collection includes but is not exclusive to signs, printed advertisements, hard hats, souvenirs, records and miscellaneous items related to the seventy-five year history of the facility. The collection spans the 1940s, when the plant was opened, until 2005.
(Accession#1978.8 – Papers: 10 folders)
The Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs collection is primarily minutes. There is a small amount of correspondence and some member lists. Presidents of local clubs from Avondale, Decatur, the LaVista area, Stone Mountain, Tucker and Inman Park were represented, as well as others. Some minutes are hand written and some are typed and many have notes added in; they cover the group’s first meeting in June 1966 and go through 1974.
(Accession: 1987.32, 2001.32, 2006.16, 2012.16 - Papers: 9 document boxes, 1 box of 3 scrapbooks)
The collection consists of newsletters (Kiwanews) from the Druid Hills Kiwanis Club. The newsletters contain articles of local and national issues, members, activities of different branches, anniversary programs and planning notes, philosophical musings, club fundraisers, meetings and attendance. The collection documents changes throughout the late 1960s to 2008. Other documents in the collection are surveys for fundraisers and meeting sites, bulletins for conventions, 3 scrapbooks, memorials and holiday events, plus newspaper clippings about local and national club concerns such as female membership. There are financial reports for the Druid Hills Kiwanis Club Foundation, renamed by Secretary of State Max Cleland in 1993. There are also wire service photograph copies of Army Chief Warrant Officer Gerwig at the Japanese surrender in the Philippines in 1945.
(Accession # 1985.287 - Papers: 14 folders)
William Bayne Gibson was a long time civic leader in DeKalb County. Born in 1888, he was in the mortgage business, working at various times for Penn Mutual Life and the Bayne Gibson Mortgage Company. Bayne Gibson was a past master of Pythagoras Lodge #41, Free and Accepted Masons, and a former president of the DeKalb Historical Society. He was also the first acting scout commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America for the Atlanta area. The collection includes photographs of Boy Scout Troop 1, National League outfielder and evangelist Billy Sunday's visit to Decatur in 1917, 1946 and 1947 yearbooks of the Old Guard Battalion, and a 1902-1903 yearbook of the University School for Boys, Stone Mountain, Georgia.
(Accession # 2004.10, 2004.15, 2002.28 - Papers: 2 document boxes, 7 scrapbooks)
This collection has all items pertaining to the Garden Club: member info, certificates received, financial records, and handmade scrapbooks documenting several decades of Glencrest history as a club.
(Accession # 2002.19 - Papers: 1 box, 2 scrapbooks)
The collection includes two scrapbooks with photographs, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings and various other club mementoes. There are receipts and correspondence with issues that the club was working on, such as zoning issues, along with petitions signed and sent to then commissioner Scott Candler. There are complaints about signs and noise from local businesses. The collection covers 1930 until 1954.
(Accession # 2010.8 – Papers: 6 boxes, 3 loose leaf notebooks with photograph copies, and objects)
The Goodwin Family papers, collected by Albert Martin, contain documents relating to the vast extended family tree for the Goodwin family. The documents are nearly all photocopies but include official court records, land records and maps, census data and family histories collected from other branches of the family. The list below is simply a rough outline of documents and family names. The first file in the collection is a database arranged with Martin’s filing number system and should be consulted first for the most detail. Some family names in the collection include Martin, Sandford, Garmany, Guess, Childress, Hall, Miller and Stokes.
Great Speckled Bird
(Accession # 2012.11 - Papers: 2 folders)
Included is the bound guest book signed by visitors to the DHC exhibit which ran from May 2011 until April 2012. There are also flyers fo the digital version of the paper availabe from the Georgia State University Special Collections department. According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia: Published in Atlanta from 1968 to 1976, the Great Speckled Bird was one of the longest-running and highest quality underground newspapers of the era. Reporting on both politics and popular culture, the Bird, as it was commonly known, linked left-leaning activists and rebellious youth throughout Georgia and across the South.
(Accession # 1981.122 - Papers: 3 folders)
This collection contains letters and notes for and from Ruth Green. Many are dated from 1967 to 1975. The collection also contains some pamphlets and miscellaneous ephemera. Ruth Green was the author of Footprints.
(Accession # 2001.3 - Papers: 1 box)
The Greenbough Garden Club collection contains minutes, officers and members, certificates awarded and photographs spanning the club’s history, from 1952 through 1995.
(Accession # L1973.1 - Papers: 4 boxes)
William Marion Guess (1907-1987) was an attorney who served as the mayor of Stone Mountain (1940-1944), the 1st Clerk of the DeKalb Recorder's Court (1959), and a Judge of the DeKalb Recorder's Court. He retired in 1977. He was a member of the Masons, and the Stone Mountain United Methodist Church. The Guess Collection consists of miscellaneous DeKalb County court documents from the period 1844-1950. Included are tax records, land deeds, voter records, petitions, and various other documents. The majority of the items cover the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
(Accession # 1978.7 - Papers: 4 boxes, 2 scrapbook boxes)
J.A. Hall (1866-1943) was a poet, essayist, and an authority on Indian lore. He was also the editor of the DeKalb New Era for more than 20 years, retiring in 1937. The collection contains a completed manuscript of a book called Indian Myths, a gathering of Cherokee legends which Mr. Hall researched for many years. The collection also contains original poems, letters, scrapbooks, and other assorted materials. A great deal of miscellaneous notes and ideas for the column Random Remarks is in this collection. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings of Hall's published column, as well as photographs and other ephemera.
(Accession # 2008.5- Papers: 2 document boxes)
The Hamilton Family records contain such items as an autograph book from the 1870s with many entries to Miss Jones, and addressing her as teacher. E.H. Hamilton was a minister in the Presbyterian Church, or perhaps a missionary and there are materials relating to his time in Taiwan, life insurance papers for Evelyn Harrison Hamilton, tithing records and vaccination records for Mrs. L.O. Huggins and Susie Hamilton. There is a fragile scrapbook full of poems from the late 1800s and Presbyterian mission materials. There is also the bible of E.H. Hamilton.
(Accession # 1993.1 - Papers: 3 folders)
The Hastings Family purchased the Everhart Estate. This tract of land was between Clairmont Avenue and Ponce de Leon. Their collection contains many of the receipts of the transaction and deeds. The collection also contains some legal papers and air raid memorabilia. Some Hastings family records and children's school report cards.
(Accession # 1984.304 - Photographs: 19 boxes)
This collection consists of various photos of Decatur and Atlanta life. There are many aerial photos, street scenes, and pictures taken of historical events. Included are the Atlanta Debutantes of 1941, the Sanitation Strikers (ca. 1970s), the railroads from the 1950¹s-1960¹s, Hosea Williams being put into a Patty Wagon, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, the Lighthouse at St. Simons Island, Harper¹s Pictorial History of Civil War, the Snowstorm of 1961, the Drive-In Theatre Opening in the 1940s and several unmarked portraits. There are also 18 boxes of medium and large format negatives, many of which have been scanned and are available for viewing at the archives.
(Accession # 1987.27 - Papers: 1 box)
The Sarah Head collection is made up mostly of pictures depicting military life in post WWII Germany, Japan, and Korea. Other pictures are of the Club Skylark in Tiers, and some of Sarah Head’s friends, including Gertrude O’Leary, Betty Zubon, and Mary M. Grills. Her collection also includes letters from the 1950’s and clippings about DeKalb General Hospital.
(Accession #2000.21 - Records: 1 box)
The Heaton Park Garden Club Collection includes scrapbooks, minute meetings, pictures pamphlets, news clippings, cards, stamps, and letters. It includes information about a vast array of different events for the Garden Club. The dates range from 1958-1994. Pictures of the members, events they attended, and clipping in the news about them are all located here.
(Accession # 1996.54 - Papers: 2 boxes)
Louise T. Hodges was a writer and poet. She wrote for The Golden Age. Her composition book is in the collection and she was President of the Southern Literature Library Association. She was also involved with Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of the Confederacy. Her collection is primarily handwritten research materials on Thomas Holley Chivers. Documents were originally published from about 1834 until 1926. The collection was donated by Hodges’ granddaughter.
(Accession # 1997.3 - Papers: 3 folders)
The House and Garden Club was organized between 1955 and 1960 and its membership was comprised of residents of Ponce de Leon Heights, including Nelson Ferry Road, Coventry, Woodlawn, Clarion, and Fairfield. The House and Garden Club collection includes ballots for a Christmas House and Christmas door decoration contest, correspondence and thank you cards, meeting minutes, membership lists and financial reports.
(Accession # 2002.17 - Papers: 2 boxes and ephemera)
The Fannie Mae Jett Collection contains newspaper clippings highlighting Jett’s community service endeavors as well as various materials related to Greater Mt. Carmel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the city of Doraville, Georgia.
(Accession # FITS.2 – Scrapbooks: 4 volumes)
The Mrs. A.A. Johnson Papers include four scrapbooks with pictures, mementoes and cards. Johnson appears to have been a teacher and lived for a time in Madison, Georgia. The albums cover approximately 1902 to the 1950s.
(Accession # FITS.479 - Papers: 1 box)
The Jones Love papers contain documents from Marguerite Jones and her daughter Margaret Love. There are clippings on Agnes Scott as well as a program from the reunion of the class of 1934. There are documents of the Crescent Literary Club that met in the late 1890s and photographs and genealogy research done on the Fincher, Smith and McCurdy families. There are photographs and information on the Brookhaven School as well, which was started in Jones’ home in the 1920s. Included is the petition to ask for a bond issue to raise money to build the Brookhaven school, dated May 1921, and class photos from the 1930s.
(Scrapbook: 1 volume)
The Mary Elizabeth Jones scrapbook includes newspaper clippings, religious poems, church bulletins and other miscellaneous papers. The clippings are wedding announcements and travel information about friends and family. They also include horoscopes and news events that Jones found interesting, the most important being World War I. Many of the clippings document Agnes Scott College, its early administration and Decatur Presbyterian Church. Although Bessie Jones belonged to Decatur Presbyterian, there are bulletins and clippings regarding North Avenue Presbyterian church and Decatur Methodist Church. Glennwood Elementary School, where Jones taught for much of her career, is well represented in the clippings as well. There are also membership cards to the various organizations to which Jones belonged. Also included are programs for the Redpath Chautauqua held in Decatur. The scrapbook is a rich resource for documenting Decatur in the early twentieth century.
(Accession # FITS.408 - Papers: 1 box)
Tim Jones was the DeKalb County complaint man for the newspaper, as well as Chief Dogcatcher Emeritus. His papers contain clippings from the newspaper naming him the complaint man, letters regarding his estate after his death, and genealogy information. There is a certificate included that makes Abram Jones a Captain in the Reserve Corps in 1952, and a certificate of his honorable discharge in 1953.
(Accession # 2006.16 - Publications of Kiwanis Club of Druid Hills)
A History: 1957-64 (December 1964)
A History: 1957-70 (Part I, 1957-64; Part II, 1965-70; October, 1970)
A History: 1957-86 (Summaries of earlier volumes, plus details 1970-71 - 1985-86; Oct 1986)
A History, Volume IV: 1986-87 to 1999-2000 (Oct. 2000)
Kiwanis Club of Druid Hills as Seen in the Georgia Kiwanian (a publication of the Georgia District of Kiwanis International, April 1992)
Pictorial Roster of Members and Record of Officers & Deceased Members, 1994-95 (May, 1995)
A Record of Memorial Resolutions and Related Papers (January 2000)
(Accession # 1996.28 - Papers: 2 boxes)
Alton Langley (1904-1997) was one of DeKalb's first developers, a banker, trucking firm owner, deputy sheriff, and a long-time bailiff to DeKalb County grand juries. The Alton Langley Collection is made up solely of photographs taken in the early part of the 1900's through the 1980's. There are pictures of many famous people, including Burt Reynolds, Harry S. Truman, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Other pictures are of various Atlanta landmarks, and DeKalb citizens.
(Accession # 1983.187 - Papers: 1 box)
Stella Lanier was a former president of the Decatur Business and Professional Women's Club and a past president of the Pilot Club of Decatur. She was active in gardening and was nominated for "Ten Leading Ladies of Atlanta" (1976 & 1977). She was a part-time florist. This collection contains papers mostly from the 1940¹s. Among them are a World War II rations book, an Avondale Estates Directory, 2 glass Budwine bottles, and a couple of letters and pictures. Also included are G.L. Lanier's wage order book and Inspector's Daily Work Report book. Additionally there is an essay written by Lanier in the eighth grade and a little golden gavel given to her by the Jr. Auxiliary American Legion in 1940.
(Accession # 2011.29 - Papers: 4 boxes)
The Joe Lee Collection contains papers from Lee’s time working for the DeKalb County Roads and Drainage department and is primarily from the 1970s to the 1990s. There are newspaper clippings of the 1998 Dunwoody tornado and cleanup, the pauper cemetery found on the grounds of the Camp Road facility, the building of the new jail on Memorial Drive and the emergency effort to fix Memorial Drive from the effects of a water main break the day before the Olympic torch relay took the route in July 1996. There are documents on training programs, memoranda, photographs and staff meeting notes.
(Accession # 1986.114 - Postcards: 1 box)
This is an extensive collection of turn-of-the-century picture postcards and slides of images of DeKalb County. There are locations such as the Courthouse, various churches, Agnes Scott College, Emory University, Columbia Theological Seminary, Oglethorpe University, and Stone Mountain. There are some image of the Atlanta locations Camp Gordon and the U.S. Veteran's Hospital. There are a few newspaper clippings about the collector.
(Accession # 1985.315, 1988.51 - Slides: 1 box)
The Joe Lee Slide Collection includes slides of selected DeKalb County postcards from the Joe Lee Postcard Collection as well as photographs of present-day scenes. The collection consists mainly of a slide show comparing the DeKalb County portrayed in vintage postcards to the DeKalb County depicted in photographs taken in 1983 and 1992. The collection also contains duplicate slides given in 1988.
(Accession FITS.407 - Papers: 1 box)
Percy Ligon's papers include dress designs and sketches by Susie York. There are postcards addressed to Percy Ligon, a Navy Rating Description for James D. York, and several news clippings on the school for the deaf in Atlanta, as well as the Nadfrat Woman's Club, an organization for the deaf and mute. Percy Ligon's press club pass from 1936 is also included.
(Accession # 2008.1 - Photographs: 4 boxes)
This collection contains photographs of Manuel Maloof (1924-2004) executing his duties as Chief Executive Officer and Commission Chairman of DeKalb County, Georgia. There is also a detailed Excel spreadsheet of the photographs, but you will need a PDF reader installed on your computer to read it.
(Accession #1986.37, 1986.45, 1986.52, 1986.22 - Papers: 7 folders)
David Manley’s grandfather ran a store and farm in Decatur on Sycamore Drive, and invented a plow, patented in 1916. The information about Trentham A. Allen is all military related; Allen was Manley’s neighbor. The I.A. Manley registers are very fragile and cannot be extensively handled. There is a copy of the plow’s patent, including the original envelope it arrived in from the U.S. Patent Office, and a photograph of Manley with the plow he invented.
(Accession # 2010.28 - Papers: 10 boxes)
The files were found in the basement of the Pythagoras lodge which had been used for storage by the DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department. In the effort to clean up the building, some documents were lost, so this collection represents only a part of the original collection. This part of the Espy collection seems to be the professional papers of Brince Manning, hence the name. There are materials on street lights, sanitation, the Ku Klux Klan, urban renewal, phone, police and water services and fluoridation of the water supply. The bulk of the material is from the 1960s.
Mathis Dairy Collection
(Accession # 2002.92 - Papers, artifacts; 1 box)
Contains papers from the R.L. Mathis Dairy. Includes records of deliveries, articles, photographs, a copy of the Audit of the DeKalb County Fair and Horse Show (October 1941). Also contains two milk jugs.
(Accession # 2011.18 - Scrapbooks in 22 boxes)
The collection contains scrapbooks that can have any number of different items year to year, such as PTA yearbooks, service officers, photographs, certificates, and materials on entering the scrapbooks in competitions, fairs held for the children, programs for children’s performances, budgets and newspaper clippings. They start when the school opened in 1951 and go until 1995. The DeKalb County School system closed the school after the 2010-2011 school year.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA)
(Records: 1 box)
The MARTA records contain a draft environmental impact statement for 1972 and two copies of the Avondale Rapid Transit Station Area Development Plan.
(Accession # 2019.9 – Papers: 2 boxes; ephemera)
The Miller Swanton Collection contains items from the Swanton House, part of the DeKalb History Center’s Historic complex, and items and documents that relate to the families that lived there. There is a receipt for a slave from 1849 which shows a series of payments made. The oldest item is the 1803 family bible and the documents go until 1972.
(Accession # 1994.1 - Papers: 16 boxes)
Roger Mills was an attorney in DeKalb County who was involved in the desegregation of DeKalb County schools, a member of the bi-racial committee, and a proponent of the M-M Program (busing). This collection documents the desegregation process in DeKalb County over the period 1964-1993. Court documents, original correspondence, statistical information, school reports, and newspaper clippings are included in this collection.
(Accession # 1994.10 Papers: 1 box)
The Morrison Family Collection contains letters written by Col. J.J. Morrison, who donated $20,000 to President Davis to help equip a regiment for the Civil War. Records of Col. Morrison¹s military service are also included, along with pictures of various Morrison family members. Col. J.J. Morrison's son, William Morrison (1866-1945) was a prominent DeKalb attorney who was active in the fight to keep the county seat in Decatur (rather than move it to Stone Mountain) in the 1890¹s. His personal papers are included in scrapbook form.
(Accession # 2006.11 - Papers: 1 document box)
The National Association of Parliamentarians Collection includes minutes and treasurer’s reports from the Atlanta, Cherokee and Pen-Peck Parliamentary units of the NAP. The minutes start in 1950 and records continue to 1972. There are 2 minute books from the Atlanta unit, and two from the Cherokee and Pen-Peck parliamentary units, including some financial records and tax documents.
(Accession # 2009.5 Papers: 2 boxes)
The Needle Craft Club records include membership lists, correspondence, minute books, a treasurer’s book, financial records and newspaper clippings for the Needle Craft Club, also called in records here the Needlecraft Circle. The group began in 1913 and some documents in the collection are dated 1997. Included are two copies of The Story of the Needlecraft 1913-1983 by member Cora Mae LeVert.
(Accession # 1986.54 - Papers: 1 box)
This collection consists of two volumes of the club minutes, 1952-1964 and 1964-1976. The minutes give the treasurer's report, new members, committees, current events, flower shows, benefits, donations, a newspaper article and the President's report.
(Accession # 2003.38 - Papers: 6 folders)
The Oak Grove Elementary Visual History Project taught 5th graders a bit about oral history, and allowed them to explore the African American community around them. The collection includes raw footage, which has been converted to DVD, and transcripts for the five interviewees. Student participants were members of the History Club which met weekly after school and a pizza and video party wrapped up the project, with copies of materials being kept in the Oak Grove Media Center and here at the DeKalb History Center. They were given guidelines and training in interviewing subjects.
(Accession # 2002.77 - Papers and photographs: 2 boxes)
The Oakhurst Elementary School collection is primarily photographs from 1984 through 1999. They may have arrived here originally in photo albums, but most have been rehoused. There are photographs of school functions such as parties, book parades, and career days, and also of school employees and school trips, such as one to Washington, DC in 1996. There are Boy Scout photographs, programs, bumper stickers and yearbooks. There are also some documents from the donor, Mary Mack, former principal at Oakhurst Elementary.
(Accession # 2008.19, 2012.29 - 8 scrapbooks and 2 boxes)
Scrapbooks of the Parkwood Garden Club include newspaper clippings, member information and photographs. Topics include Decatur, Marta, Presidential Parkway, and Interior Photographs. Names include, Glass, Espy, Garner, Beasley, Westbrook, Pugh, Broome, Shearer. Scrapbooks date from 1952-1995 and documents 1973-2002.
(Accession # 2006.10 - Papers: 2 boxes)
The Pine Lake Collection is composed of materials dealing with the City of Pine Lake from 1937 to 2006. There are newspaper clippings, newsletters, and event fliers, as well as copies of many documents related to legal and political battles from 1998 to 2002. The collection also includes a CD-ROM containing pictures of a variety of subjects, including Pine Lake, Georgia, United States cities, European cities, and individuals. It also includes a 1995 VHS video cassette of an investigative hearing, which has been dubbed to DVD. See also the I Remember Hour program with Ira B. Melton in our collection.
(Accession # 2013.2 – 4 document boxes and ephemera)
This Pine Lake Collection was donated in 2013 is composed primarily of the photographs of local photographer Claude Suttle. They cover Pine Lake and its residents and also photographs from all over the south, including Lookout Mountain, Miami, Savannah and Stone Mountain. There are documents from Ellen Mintzmyer, who was on the city council and the human relations council.
(Accession # 1998.28 - 3 boxes)
This collection of records reflects everyday school life through pictures of in-class activities, group photographs of entire classes, news clippings of accomplishments and interesting experiences and description of activities in the school. Names of students, teachers and PTA members may be found in the PTA histories and promotional pamphlets. A list of past presidents of the PTA and their addresses begins the history scrapbook. Many pictures of students and classroom settings are included in the Ponce de Leon School scrapbook and in folders in the document box. PTA histories include meeting minutes, organizational goals, digests, lists of members and officers and information about extracurricular programs. This collection is an excellent source for specifics about the Ponce de Leon School PTA and for photographs of elementary school life during the period 1923-1958.
(Accession # 1985.160, 1984.280- Papers: 1/2 box)
Chapmon Powell was an Atlanta doctor in the mid-1800s. His "medicine house" was a refuge for many of Georgia's Native Americans. There are pictures of Dr. Powell and his "medicine house" from newspapers, as well as a history of the medicine house, and a biography of Dr. Powell. A copy of M.A.J Powell's will, who was Chapmon Powell's daughter, is also included. Genealogy and biographies of Fielding Travis Powell and John and Elizabeth Hardman are included.
(Accession # 1986.200 - Papers: 1 box)
Walter L. Purcell (1922-1989) was the Director of Community Services for DeKalb County from 1962-1965. This collection is made up of newspaper articles on the organizations in DeKalb that were under his purview as the Director of Community Services, such as the American Red Cross, YMCA, Kiwanis Club, the DeKalb library, the Chamber of Commerce, parks and recreation. There are clippings on the Kirkwood Methodist Church as well as the Special Olympics. There are articles on his personal achievements dating from the 1950's to 1984. The collection is made up entirely of photocopies.
(Accession # 1981.105 - Newspaper Clippings: 6 folders)
Robert Ramspeck (1890-1972) was a solicitor for the city court of Decatur (1923-1927), the city attorney of Decatur (1927-1929), a member of the State House of Representatives in 1929, and a U.S. Representative from Georgia (1929-1945). After retiring from Congress he became executive vice president of the Air Transport Association. The Robert Ramspeck Collection contains newspaper clippings dealing with the 1929 Fifth District Congressional election. The newspaper clippings describe the issues of the race and contain editorials and ad campaign letters from the candidates. There are several folders with various other newspaper clippings and two Congressional Records from December 1945.
(Accession # 1995.35 - Photos, Papers, Bible, Artifacts: 4 document boxes, 1 scrapbook box)
This collection contains pictures from the 1920s through the 1950s of friends and relatives of the Rankin family. Dot Floyd kept a scrapbook of her high school years at Stone Mountain High in the 1920s and Catherine Rankin¹s scrapbook from high school is also included. There are several cookbooks, a pair of baby shoes, several pairs of spectacles, and programs for various events. Two family Bibles are in the collection, as well as World War II food and gas ration books.
(Accession # 2005.15 - Papers: 1/2 document box, and an oversized folder of house plans)
The H.A. Rawlins Sr. family built a house at 344 Winnona Drive in Decatur and this collection has architectural plans, building materials receipts, newspaper clippings and a book on Grundy County, Tennessee with family members included.
(Accession # 1996.4 - Papers: 2 boxes)
The papers of the Redan United Methodist Church date from 1894 through 1928. It consists of minutes from the Building Committee meetings, Sunday school records, church conference records, and the minutes for the Womens Missionary Society. It also includes the personal accounts of several church members of why they joined the church. There is a micro cassette of memories 1900s and 1950s.
(Accession # 2001.37 - Papers: 4 boxes, 2 scrapbook boxes)
The Marion Reinhardt collection contains a large number of photographs, including family photographs, publicity shots of Reinhardt and other performers and performances that she participated in, either as a performer or as a dance teacher. There are several scrapbooks and photo albums, including a graduation scrapbook, a small scrapbook on the first Dogwood Festival in Atlanta, and of her freshman year at Oglethorpe University. There are files from the Avondale Historical Society, of which Reinhardt was president, and many newspaper clippings on the Avondale area. There are handwritten memoirs by Reinhardt, sheet music, vinyl records and several copies of Stars of Tomorrow magazine, with features on Reinhardt’s students.
(Accession # FITS.485 - Papers: 1 1/2 boxes)
The Rock Chapel Treasurer’s Records were found on the third floor of the historic courthouse and no provenance information can yet be found. The documents appear to be the treasurer’s records and cover primarily 1959 through 1968. There are bank statements, receipts, minutes, insurance documents and annual budgets.
(Scrapbooks: 5 volumes)
Rotary Club Scrapbook 1965-1966 (wooden wheel on cover)
Rotary Club Scrapbook 1996-1997
Decatur Rotary Club, 1961-1962
Decatur Rotary Club, 1992-1993
James Phillips Peters/Rotary, Scrapbook Rotary President 2001-2002
Accession FITS.5 - Papers: 1 box)
The Rowland/Steward Family Papers (1884-1895) include correspondence and financial records of John Barnett Steward and his second wife, Martha Virginia Sanders Rowland. There is correspondence concerning Jennie Rowland Steward, Samuel John Rowland, Fannie Sanders, Belle Boykin, and John B. Steward. The financial materials include receipts and accounts held by the Stewards with Decatur merchants.
(Accession # 2001.28 - Papers: 1 box)
This collection contains 12 small booklets of songs sung by the famous Sacred Harp Singers. There are Songs of Gladness, Patriotic Songs and Songs of Faith. Some of the books are very old and rare.
(Accession # FITS.164 - papers: 1/2 document box)
The Safford Letter Collection is 17 letters dating from 1846 to 1864 between siblings Mary Safford (Mrs. W.H. Thompson), Eunice B. Safford (Mrs. S.E. Scudder), Henry Safford, William 'Willie' B. Safford, and others. The Saffords were four of seven children of Rev. Henry Safford and were raised in Greensboro, Georgia. Eunice Safford and her husband Samuel Erwin Scudder lived in Decatur during the time period of this collection.
(Accession # 2001.39 - Postcards: 1 box)
This is a collection of photograph style drawings on postcards that document the travels of the Sams Family. The postcards date from the late nineteenth to early and mid twentieth century. They are of places like Augusta, Georgia; the Atlanta Opera House; Jacksonville and Palm Beach, Florida; Washington D.C.; Nashville, Tennessee; Newport News, Virginia; Havana, Cuba; Rome, Italy, etc. Some are contained in a scrapbook and some are in a folder. This collection also includes hand drawings done by Augustine Sams when she attended a drawing class in grade school.
(Accession # 1981.86 - Photo Album: 1 box)
The Satterwhite photo album contains pictures of Miss Satterwhite's high school graduation in 1923 from Decatur High School, her friends from school, along with newspaper articles about her activities in school and in Decatur. It also includes graduation announcements, report cards, a Georgia Tech Alumnus newsletter and other high school memorabilia.
(Accession # 1984.285 - Papers: 1 box, ephemera and oversized photographs)
The Saucier Railroad Collection includes objects such as tie clips and belt buckles, printer’s blocks with logos of the West Point Line, railroad schedules, photographs and business cards. There is also a collection of rail passes used by J.E. Saucier in his capacity as Manager of Industrial Development for Atlanta and West Point Railroad Company. There are stationery examples, programs, photographs, a freight tariff book and railroad time tables. There is a waybill from 1888 and materials dated in the 1960s.
Scott, George Washington
(Accession # 1982.170 - Business Ledger: 1 box)
George Washington Scott (1829-1903) was an entrepreneur, a Confederate soldier, and a philanthropist. He entered the mercantile business in 1850 when he established the firm of George Washington Scott and Company in Tallahassee, FL. During the Civil War he commanded the Fifth Florida Battalion (Scott's Cavalry) and led these troops in the battles of Olustee and Natural Bridge. After the war he moved first to Savannah, GA and then to Decatur, GA were he founded the George Washington Scott Investment Company real estate business. From 1889 until his death in 1903, George Washington Scott was a great benefactor to the newly formed Agnes Scott Institute (later Agnes Scott College), an institution named for his mother. The ledger is from the George Washington Scott and Company firm and it chronicles the latter half of the 19th century with daily reports on the weather and the cotton crop. It begins in Tallahassee, Florida and later moves up to Savannah, Georgia. It includes information on bank drafts and trade reports. See also Scottdale Mills Collection for more from the Scott Investment Company.
(Accession # 2011.20 - Ledgers: 112 volumes; Documents: 5 boxes; ephemera )
The Scottdale Mill collection contains statements of accounts, cash books, checks, payroll lists, stock certificates, itemized account journals, W-2 forms and other items from Georgia Duck and Cordage, Estates of J.J. Scott, Scottdale Mills and Whittier Mills. The collection begins in 1899 and contains records through 2008. There are 112 ledger books. There is also tax information and the paperwork from renewing the charter in 1949. The collection includes lists of prices that individuals paid for Scottdale cemetery plots, Scottdale Mill ephemera and proposed warehouse plans. See above for additional Scott Investiment Company ledger.
Access is restricted as the books are kept in cooler basement storage for safety. Please call ahead.
There is a detailed spreadsheet of the ledgers, with contents and dates available here.
Scottish Rite Collection
(Accession # 2002.60 - Photographs and objects; 1 box)
Collection of photographs, metal patient tags, slides, and negatives from the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital.
(Accession # FITS.414 - Photographs: 1 box)
The collection contains Emory graduates, all male, from 1904 and 1907, most in 1906. Most notes on the backs seem to be addressed to Tom Seals, perhaps the photograph included of Thomas D. Seals.
(Accession# 1987.53, FITS.35 - Papers and photographs: 1 half document box and 1 folder photographs)
The Severinghaus Collection consists of primarily photographs of Rock Chapel in the 1950s stored in the Photograph Subject Files. The papers in the document box include report cards, legal papers, newspaper articles and photographs of Rock Chapel School and Rock Chapel Methodist Church. The materials were collected primarily by Mrs. Nelson (Josephine Thompson) Severinghaus, who wrote for the Atlanta Journal and had ties with the library as well, helping to start the first DeKalb bookmobile service.
(Accession # 1987.72, 1985.151 - Papers: 1 box)
Jeanette Sheffield's collection contains mostly pictures, most of which are not labeled, of her friends and family from 1910-1970s. A few postcards from friends, Mrs. Harry Newman, Miss Grace Royal, and Miss Pearl Stanley, have been included. Several news clippings are also included on the Scottdale Mill in Scottdale County, DeKalb General Hospital, and Naomi Maddox a school bus driver.
(Accession # 2002.22 - Papers and ephemera: 4 boxes)
The Vee Simmons collection includes a photocopy of the Decatur Board of Education Minutes from 1902 to 1907, correspondence including congratulatory letters on Dr. Simmons’ acceptance of Superintendant of Schools in 1974, newspaper clippings, photographs and short and long versions of a slide presentation on Effective Schools, including a cassette of an audio track. There are also books given and autographed by Daisy Frances Smith, who was a principal in the Decatur Schools system at Girls’ High School. See Simmons in our I Remember Hour Oral History series as well.
(Accession # 1981.77 - Papers: 1 box, 2 scrapbooks and oversized materials)
The Smith Family Papers include photographs, books, letters, newspaper clippings, church bulletins, certificates, and honors collected by Judge Charles Whitefoord Smith and his wife, Mrs. Fannie Wright Smith, as well as their adopted daughter, Daisy Frances Smith. The Smith Family Papers span a period from 1800 to 1986, but the bulk of information runs from mid-1800s to 1900s. An individual folder on Judge Smith’s death provides ample resources on his life’s accomplishments and funeral/estate settlement.
(Accession # 1997.100 - Papers: 1 box)
The Earle Carter Smith Papers contain Civil War letters, twentieth century correspondence, a diary, photos, and several court documents dating from the nineteenth century. There is information here linking the Smith family to the Kirkpatricks and the Paces, two early settlers in DeKalb County. The diary dates from 1918, and contains valuable insight into life during World War I.
(Accession # 2012.4 - Papers: 9 folders)
The collection contains records on the herd at Soap Stone Cattle Farm. There are herd records, photographs, research and records of births, deaths and sales of cattle. Included in the collection are photographs of the farm house, which Bill and Judy Caskey renovated. The records arrived in a ring bound notebook and have been foldered in that order. There is also information from the Senepol Cattle Breeders Association and records range from 1983 to 1996.
Sons of Confederate Veterans Clement A. Evans, Camp #1238
(Accession # L1980.9 - 5 Scrapbooks in 3 boxes; gavel; original charter)
The Clement A. Evans chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter was founded in Decatur in 1959. The scrapbooks contain minutes from meetings, collected and compiled by B.F. Wilkens, the camp historian. These scrapbooks also include a history of this chapter, a biography of General Clement A. Evans, pictures, letters and newspaper clippings of camp events.
(Accession # 1994.44 - Papers: 1 box)
The South DeKalb Neighbors group was formed in August 1969 as a non-profit “dedicated to fair housing, neighborhood stability, good schools and a beautiful community.” The collection contains membership information and lists, a constitution, correspondence and financial records and spans 1969 until 1972.
(Accession # FITS.539 – Papers: 6 folders, and scrapbook)
The Thomas More collection contains a large scrapbook covering the years 1940-1958, and various documents including greeting cards, correspondence and reports done by Mrs. Joseph M. Toomey. She was Chairman of Study Clubs, so there are questionnaires sent to other parishes for information. There is also a group of papers documenting which parishioners served in the Armed Forces (World War II specifically). The scrapbook includes newspaper clippings, photographs, programs and correspondence and information on the Theatre Guild of the parish.
(Accession #1994.34 - Family Books: 1 box)
The Sutton Collection is comprised of many books published in the late 1800s and the early 1900s, such as In Memoriam, The Teachings of Jesus, Lalla Rookh, and Gano's Commercial Law book. Also included are the minutes from the Clarkston Women's Club (1955-1963) and the 1977-78 Women's Club handbook. There is also a collection of buttons, pins and medals collected from trade shows from the late 1800s. There is a picture of E.L. Sutton in a newspaper article included in the collection.
(Accession # 1988.69 and 1980.54 - 1 scrapbook box, 7 folders of documents)
The Margery Moore Tappan Collection includes a scrapbook and miscellaneous items such as commencement programs, class schedules, Decatur Public School report cards and newspaper clippings. The scrapbook is from the years that Moore attended Decatur High School (class of 1916) and her years at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA (1916-1920), with most of the information being devoted to Agnes Scott. In the scrapbook are clippings, photographs, name cards and other mementos of her school years. Besides clippings concerning her time at Agnes Scott, there are also clippings on the college from the time after her graduation up until the 1960s. The collection also includes graduation photographs and group photos, most with unidentified people. There are personal letters, not all addressed or signed and playbills for local productions.
(Accession # 1983.216 - Scrapbooks: 20 volumes)
The Tucker Elementary Scrapbook Collection was created by the Parent Teacher Association of Tucker Elementary School. The collection is made up of 20 scrapbooks filled with images of students, faculty, and staff, articles of various interests, PTA meeting summaries, and future school plans. There are also sections of nutrition plans and principal statements. Articles in the collection discuss school programs and annual events at the school.
(Accession # L2000.1 - Metal box and papers: 2 boxes)
The Tucker Time Capsule was placed behind a plaque at the old Tucker Health Center and removed in 2007. The metal box is stored in the DeKalb History Center museum
storage and the papers are stored in the stacks on the first floor. The stacks materials have such varied items as photographs, letters, newspapers and wooden nickels. Most of the material is from 1957, with a few photographs from the 1970s and from the opening in 2007.
(Accession # 1947.4 - Records: 7 boxes)
The U.S. Postal Records collection spans the late 1880s through the late 1920s and consists mostly of records for the Decatur Post Office. There are registers of money orders sold, record books for presidential offices, postal account books and semi-monthly money order statements books. There are several books for East End and Leroy, Georgia.
(Accession # 2008.8 - Papers: 1 box)
This small collection of papers belonged to James M. McCorkle Sr. when he worked for Wheat Williams Realty in Decatur, Georgia. The Excel list contains the names and addresses found on realty contracts kept by McCorkle. Check to see if your house is included! The list can also be found at our Ancestry.com page HERE.
(Accession # 1979.41 - Articles and misc. ephemera: 2 boxes)
Jacob Wheeler was a Confederate soldier who was killed in battle on September 28, 1864. There is a comprehensive biography folder for him compiled by Joan H. Young in 1978. His collection has a pocketknife, coffin nails and jacket buttons. Newspaper articles chronicle his disinterment and reburial. Articles on the dedication of the Wheeler Bridge and the memorial service for him are also included.
(Accession # 2002.41, 2002.83- Papers: 1 box)
Carolyn Wilson worked for Wyatt Memorials located on Church Street in Decatur. In 1964, when Mr. Wyatt died, Carolyn ran the company for his family. Eventually, Mrs. Wyatt sold the company to Ms. Wilson. In 1975 Ms. Wilson married and renamed the company Wilson's Memorials. This collection contains press about the Wyatt/Wilson Memorial company, advertisements from Wilson's and neighboring Decatur businesses, The Memorial Redbook from 1941 and 1975, and a scrapbook folder of the custom designs previously offered by the company. There are also photos of the building when it was still owned by the Wyatts.
(Accession # 2011.35 - Papers: 1 box)
The collection focuses primarily on official school records and items produced by students. Correspondence with the parents of future students, building inspections, report cards, construction estimates, and meeting minutes from the 1950s and 1960s provide descriptive details about the school’s operation. The documents produced by students include a large number of essays from 1963 concerning the death of President John F. Kennedy and an oral history report from the 1990s that includes photos of former students.
(Accession # 2002.51 - Photographs: 1 box)
The Wood Family Photograph Collection is extensive. Seven file folders of sleeved photographs primarily from the early 20th century, primarily portraits. Family names include: Allen, Anderson, Baker, Britt, Cannon, Capehart, Conan, Cooper, Copeland, Cowan, Farmer, Francis, Garner, Graham, Hunter, Juhan, Miller, Minor, Sammons, Smith, Steens, Summers, Venable, White, Williams and Wood. A list in the document box is included, which lists full names and nearly all are labeled on the back.