Special Reference Materials and Periodicals

The DeKalb History Center has a variety of special reference materials for you to use in your research including city directories, tax digests, and court records. We also have a wide selection of periodicals, with a particular focus on local and community newsletters such as Smoke Signals, Decatur Focus, and the Doraville Citizen.

**Please note that the majority of periodical collections are incomplete and gaps may not always be noted in their descriptions.  Check with your local DeKalb County library for their offerings on microfilm.

Click on the “CONTACT THE ARCHIVES” button to make an appointment to see materials in person. Please indicate on the form which material(s) you’d like to see.


Agnes Scott 

“Main Events” newspaper,  1993-2005


Atlanta Business Chronicle

1986 “Book of Lists”; September + October 1986; Market Report DeKalb, July-August, 1996; Perimeter Market Report, September 2003; Health, May 2004; Education, March 2007


(The) Atlanta Constitution

Two bound volumes, May/ June 1936, March/April 1931 and 1932.


(The) Atlanta Century

Reprinted bound book of issues from March 1860 to May 1865, by Norman Shavin.


Atlanta Historical Bulletin

Scattered issues January 1929 to May 1950, a memorial issue for Margaret Mitchell.


Atlanta Journal Magazine

(Accession # 1980.35)

One bound volume from 1936.


Birds’ Eye View

South Decatur


(The) Briarcliff Scroll 

December 14, 1962; May 30, 1963


Brookhaven Buzz

(Accession # FITS.289.7)

June 1993, May 1994, January 1997, July 1997, September 1997, June 1998, April 2000


(The) Champion

June 1992; DeKalb Business Monthly, January 1996; January 18-24, 2001; January 25-31, 2001; Newcomer’s Guide, 2005-2006; April 2006


(The) Citizens’ Chronicle

Newspaper from January 1987- single edition


City Directories

We have a good set of Atlanta city directories, though not all years are represented. They contain a wealth of home and resident information, often listing spouses and occupations. The Atlanta city and suburban directories are in a single volume until 1956, when the book became too large and Atlanta was divided into separate city and suburban directories. We also have the 1939 DeKalb directory, the only one published, and a selection of 1970s directories for Tucker/Stone Mountain. Click on the city directories title above for a list with the dates of the books in our collection. 


Clarkston City News

March, April, May 1993


(The) Coca-Cola Bottler

February, 1972


(The) Community Star

Serving Candler Park, Inman Park, Lake Claire, Little Five Points, and Poncey Highlands: Dec 1981/Jan 1982,  Feb 1982,  August 1982, Feb 1983, Feb 1984


Confederate Veteran

September 1985; November 1985; January-February 1986;  March-April 1986;  May-June 1986; July-August 1986; November-December 1986; July-August 1987; September-October 1987; November-December 1987; January-February 1988; March-April 1988


(The) Countryman Newspaper

(Accession # FITS.415; Newspapers: 1 box)

The Countryman was published before, during and after the Civil War, 1862-1866 and the New Georgia Encyclopedia reports that circulation reached 2000 at one point. It was published by J.A. Turner from his Turnwold Plantation near Eatonton, Georgia and for a time, Joel Chandler Harris was a typesetter.  Issues include 1862 through 1866. There are articles on making vinegar, reports on happenings at the capital in Richmond, and Civil War leaders. There is also a series of biographical articles Turner wrote about his father, William Turner.


CrossRoads News

(Accession # 2019.22; newspapers and 1 document box)

CrossRoads newspaper collection – publication began in the mid-90s, serving south DeKalb county. Delivered its last print edition in 2018. The archives holds paper editions from years 2000-2018. The document box holds NAACP banquet awards booklets from various years.


Daughters of the American Revolution

(Accession # 1986.95)

DAR Magazine issues from January 1926 through December 1938.

50th Anniversary issue from the 1940s

National Historical magazine, 1938



Decatur City Court Minute Books

Thirteen bound volumes

Minute books (volumes 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60) containing copies of court records. Click on the minute books title above for a list with relevant date ranges for the individual books. 


Decatur City Manager’s Report



Decatur Community Review

November 1993, May + November 1994, March 1995, February, July, August, September 1996


Decatur DeKalb News Business and Financial Review

Bound volumes, July 1973 through December 28, 1995.


Decatur Dispatch

(Accession # FITS.289.10)

Issues begin February 1994


Decatur Focus/Central Focus

(Accession # FITS.289.4)

Issues begin in January 1985


Decatur Junior High School

(Accession # FITS.389)

The Echo, a few issues only, from February 1928 to March 1931.


Decatur Living

(Accession #FITS.289.1)

A few issues of the magazine, Sept/Oct 2006 through Mar/Apr 2007.


Decatur Rotary Club

50 Years of Service

1938-1988 by Frank M. Carryl and Charles F. Schwab


DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

(Accession # FITS.355)

Two newsletters, The Edge from 1984 to 1994, and DeKalb Dynamics. Magazines cover December 1984 through Mar/Apr 1996.


DeKalb Community College

January, 1985; September, 1985; June, 1986


DeKalb Council for the Arts

Winter 1996-1997; Winter. 2002; Fall, 2004


DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce Minutes

Bound volumes: 18 volumes

(Accession # 1996.46)

This collection contains 12 volumes of bound minutes for the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce. 11 volumes are minutes for the Board of Directors, roughly 1939 to 1992, and one is of the Executive Committee and covers November 1964 to September 1965.


DeKalb County Civil Court Criminal Docket Book

(Accession # 1984.256)

One volume, 599 pages

This government record contains the court docket for the DeKalb Civil Court for the year 1957.


DeKalb County Jail Docket

(Accession # 2002.7)

One volume. October 17, 1959 – July 18, 1961 with two entries for Martin Luther King, Jr., one in May 1960 for improper tag and one in October 1960 for violation of parole.


DeKalb County Justice of the Peace Records

(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.


DeKalb County Mortgage Record Book

One bound volume

Volume 79 for 1927-1928.



DeKalb County Plat Books

(Accession # L2012.1 – 10 bound volumes; Accession #2020.43, 14 bound volumes)

Paper and waxed linen plat maps for property in DeKalb county. They have been pasted into large books by the county clerk and some are damaged by use, water and improper storage conditions, however, they are good snapshots in time of streets and subdivisions in DeKalb. These are also available at the county courthouse; these are duplicates. Indexing of lot numbers and names is ongoing.

General date ranges of the 10 volumes:
1) 1910-Oct 1912
2) Oct 1912-Apr 1914
3) Railway 1912-1913
4) May 1914-Mar 1916
5) 1919
6) 1919-1921
7) 1922-1924
8) 1924-1927
9) 1928-1930
10) July 1932-Jun 1936

The 14 bound volumes feature maps from the 1960s-1970s, districts 15, 16, and 18.


DeKalb County Registered Vendors of Medicines, Drugs and Poisons

Ledger; 1 book

Book of registered vendors for 1927-1928.


DeKalb County Road Commissioner Ledger, Court of the Ordinary

(ACC # FITS.541 – Ledger; 1 volume)

This ledger, the DeKalb County Road Commissioner’s Docket from 1871-1884 and some from 1887, has records of sections of Atlanta roads that were worked on, and the name of the overseer and a list of the men who worked on the roads.  Also in the docket are jail sentences and fines for several workers who missed workdays. Many workers’ names are listed as “colored”.


DeKalb County Sheriff Docket Books

(ACC # 2000.5 – Ledgers: 7 volumes)

These volumes include a record of all arrests in DeKalb County for the years covered. The name of the offender, the arresting officer, and the recorded offense are included.

Bench Warrants – 1920

1 – November 1962 – June 1966

2 – July 1966 – March 1969

3 – March 1969 – December 1970

4 – January 1971 – July 1972

5 – July 1972 – August 1973

6 – August 1973 – January 1974


DeKalb County Superior Court Minutes/Book A (1836-1843)

(ACC # 1947.2 – One Volume: 478 pages)

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.



DeKalb County Superior Court

(Accession # FITS.540)

Writs; One bound volume (volume M); March 1917 through December 1917.



DeKalb County Tax Digests

(45 bound volumes; fragile in many cases)

A tax digest lists names and property, and the value of that property for the purpose of setting tax rates. Some of the earlier volumes only have names, but beginning about 1940, there is also an address given.



DeKalb County Voter Registration Books

2 books

Original book of 1902 voter registration in DeKalb County, as well as a typed and bound copy of the original.


DeKalb Neighbor newspapers

(Accession # 2019.17; 43 volumes)

Set of bound neighborhood newspapers from various years covering 1974-1991. Clarkston, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Decatur, Dunwoody, and more.


(The) DeKalb Tribune

May, 1962


“Discover South DeKalb” slideshow

(Accession # 2010.15)

Put together by the DeKalb Public Library, this 103-slide presentation has a cassette tape narration and a script. The slides have been digitized and can be viewed in the DHC reference room. It was put together in 1979, so views of Mathis milk delivery, Peachtree DeKalb Airport (PDK) and DeKalb hospital are a reminder of how things have changed.


Dixie Business

Scattered issues from December 1929 through 1979.


Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists

Lithonia published compilation of approximately 2700 Georgia authors. Births, deaths, place of birth and type of writings. January 1970.


Doraville Citizen

(Accession # FITS.289.15)

Issues from Spring 1978 through Spring 1995.


Druid Hills News

(Accession # FITS.289.9)

Issues begin with Fall 1987 and go through Fall 2005.


Dunwoody Crier

(Accession # 2008.65 & # 2019.21)

This collection contains editions of the Dunwoody Crier newspaper, featuring news from Dunwoody, Roswell, Alpharetta, and East Cobb, from years 1977-1989 and 1995, 1996, and 1998.

Dunwoody Crier online newspaper



Gamilicad Collection

This collection was anonymously donated and contains seven copies of the Georgia Military Academy newsletter The Gamilicad from 1939 and 1940. The newsletter is dedicated to “The Progress of GMA”. It was published in College Park. There are also two copies of the Declaration of Independence, a tribute to J.C. Woodward and information about The Weaver at the Body and Health Building of the Georgia Military.


Garden Gateways

Recording the activities of the gardening in the deep south and published by the Garden Club of Georgia. Four issues, January 1951, May 1951, April 1951, September 1951.


Georgia Black History Press

Black History issue, February 1995



Georgia Department of Commerce newsletter

August 1951 through January 1959


Georgia Life and Georgia Magazine

Georgia Life, scattered issues winter 1976 through Spring 1980 and Georgia Magazine, scattered June-July 1957 through November 1972.

For detailed listing, click on the title above for PDF document.


Georgia State Highway Department

(Accession # FITS.307)

Reports published June 1943 through June 1956.


Harper’s Weekly

Bound volumes for the years 1857 through 1865.


Harper’s New Monthly Magazine

This collection contains 18 volumes of the Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, scattered copies, July 1863 through January 1868. Also included in box 2 are three issues of Scribner’s Monthly from 1878 and 1880.


Hodge, Stephen Diary

Stephen Hodge was a Confederate soldier (first a 3rd Sgt. and eventually a Captain) who kept a diary for the years 1859-1878. It begins with his first day of classes at Emory Oxford in 1859. He was from Alabama and was a member of the 14th Regiment Alabama Volunteer Infantry. The diary is first hand documentation to the life of a returned Confederate soldier.


Insurance Company Policy Register

(Accession # 1982.124)

(One bound volume)

This book contains insurance policies and claim documents for 1938-1940 from the Milwaukee Mechanics Insurance Company from the New Jersey and Decatur offices. There is an index of names in the front and policy documents contain names, addresses and payment information. Part of the Decatur Federal Savings and Loan collection.


Junior League of DeKalb County- (see also Special Collections for Junior League collection)

Two publications, The Leaguelet and The Colleague. The Leaguelet covers February 1995 to May/June 2004 and The Colleague is November 1983 to September 1992.


Know Your County, DeKalb County Georgia


Published by the League of Women Voters. Services, courts, education and health information for DeKalb County.


Land Lot Owners of 16th district, DeKalb County

Book of land lot owners from Henry County in 1821, which became the 16th district of DeKalb. Owners are shown with names of lot owners. Book should accompany list of land lottery drawers in 16th district, DeKalb County 1821, Georgia Land Lottery. Oversized photocopies of the original pages in cardboard folio.



Assorted issues



PAL Festival, October 1984; PAL Festival, Fall 1985; PAL Festival, Fall 1986; 16th Annual Fall Festival, September 1988; PAL Festival, October 1989; PAL Festival, October 1990; PAL Festival, October 1991; Fall Granite Heritage Festival, September 1992


Lithonia Observer

Part of the newspaper books collection, the bound volumes cover 1979 to 1985.


McCannon Telephone Books

(Accession # 2010.5)

A collection of Atlanta area telephone books, white pages, yellow pages, special areas such as specific books for Gwinnett County and Decatur. The books begin in 1970 and go through 2006, being supplemented with later volumes as available.


McElroy Family Bible

(Accession # 1947.8)

Includes written record of births, deaths, and marriages for various members of McElroy family, most pre-dating publication of the Bible.

Samuel McElroy of Anderson District, South Carolina 1830


Neighbors News

(Accession #FITS.289.2)

Published by the Decatur Neighborhood Alliance. Sept/Oct 1982 to December 1986.


News from City Hall, Avondale Estates    

(Accession # FITS.289.6)

From the city of Avondale Estates, Sept/Oct 1993 to Nov/Dec 2006.


Newspaper collection

(Accession # 1998.24)

This collection of DeKalb County newspapers includes newspapers from 1919-1995. Not every year of every newspaper within that span is represented in the collection. Primary titles include the DeKalb New Era, the Decatur-DeKalb News, and the Decatur-DeKalb News/Era. For a comprehensive list of years, please hit the collection’s link for a PDF file with more detailed information. Issues of the DeKalb New Era from 1885 to 1955 are also available on microfilm from the Decatur Library.


North DeKalb Record

February, 1963



(Accession #FITS.298.8)

Newsletter beginning February 2003, ending with December 2011. Some issues are missing.


(The) Police Review

(Accession # FITS.557)

Book on Georgia police forces, including Decatur, Fulton County and Cobb County, May 1927.


The Porch Press

(Accession FITS.289.12)

Newspaper for the East Atlanta Community Association, the Grant Park Neighborhood Association and the South Atlanta for Neighborhood Development groups. Issues from February 1987 until November 1993.



Register for Posted Land

(Accession # FITS.544 – 1 volume)

A register for posted land from 1903-1914. Includes names, description/location of land, district and land lots.


Register of Free Persons of Color, Freedman record, Inferior Court

The Freeman Record (Annual Returns) provides the names, ages, birth places, residences, and brief descriptions of all of the free African-Americans residing in DeKalb County from 1851-1864.  Several of the names recur throughout the record, indicating that people were required to re-register after a certain period of time


Roswell Manufacturing Company Meeting Minutes

(1 volume; 1 box)

This ledger contains meeting minutes from the Roswell Manufacturing Company Stockholders from 1840-1900. The record book has information on the finances of the company, including a stock valuation chart, semi-annual reports of the operations of the mills, and votes and resolutions decided upon by the stockholders. This ledger is one of a kind and must be handled only for special use under supervision.


Sacred Harp Song Book Collection

(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.


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Ten-volume fire insurance maps for Atlanta and surrounding areas. Each volume covers a different area. Some of the lesser used volumes must be requested ahead of time. Volume 7 is Decatur. Due to fragile condition of the books, we cannot scan the books, but digital images are permitted.

See also the Digital Library of Georgia’s scanned versions HERE for comparison to our set; most of our volumes were originally published in 1925 to 1932, but were updated until 1966.


Scientific American

Bound volumes from 1902, 1903, 1904


Smoke Signals

Part of the Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Espy IV Collection

(Accession 2010.27)

The issues of Smoke Signals, serving the Mountain Shadow/Smoke Rise community, issues beginning in 1973, up to 2010.


(The) Stone Mountain Times

January 10, 1963; January 24, 1963; August 1, 1963


(The) Suburban Gazette

November, 1957; March, 1958; June, 1959; March, 1968


(The) Stars and Stripes

Military newspaper, bound, covering February 8, 1918 to June 13, 1919.


Thompson Family Bible

(Accession # 1982.163)

This collection contains the family record of births and deaths, beginning in 1846 and continuing to 1918. Also included are the family Bible (ca. 1866) and the book A History of Stone Mountain by Mrs. J.F. Hill.


Tucker Days

(Accession # FITS.289.16)

Newspaper insert section from the DeKalb New Era papers. Years 1973 until 1991 are represented.


Tucker Times

(Accession # FITS.289.14)

Issues begin in March 1994 and go to March 2007.


Up Close & Personal In Tucker

Magazine with stories and color photos on the Smoke Rise, Embry Hills, and Northlake areas. Published 6 times per year. Issues range from the year 2002 to part of 2016, with some issues missing.


Vaughn Family Bible

The Vaughn family Bible from 1851 has birth, death, and marriage records placed inside of it. The first births to be recorded are in the early 1800s. Marriages are recorded from the mid 1800s through 1900. There are photocopies of the records and the first page of the aged bible.


(The) War of the Rebellion (description information from Cornell Libraries)

The INDEX is in the reading room, but other copies are stored and must be requested ahead of time. Please check the PDF file, which can be accessed by the link of the series’ name, above.

Series I:   Contains the formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the Southern States, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, orders, and returns relating specially thereto, and, as proposed is to be accompanied by an Atlas. In this series the reports will be arranged according to the campaigns and several theaters of operations (in the chronological order of the events), and the Union reports of any event will, as a rule, be immediately followed by the Confederate accounts. The correspondence, etc., not embraced in the “reports” proper will follow (first Union and next Confederate) in chronological order.

Series II: Contains the correspondence, orders, reports, and returns, Union and Confederate, relating to prisoners of war, and (so far as the military authorities were concerned) to State or political prisoners.

Series III: Contains the correspondence, orders, reports, and returns of the Union authorities (embracing their correspondence with the Confederate officials) not relating specially to the subjects of the first and second series. It will set forth the annual and special reports of the Secretary of War, of the General-in-Chief, and of the chiefs of the several staff corps and departments; the calls for troops, and the correspondence between the national and the several State authorities.


Williams, Hiram Scrapbook

(ACC # 1978.14 – Scrapbooks: 2 volumes)

Oath found in superior court files (1947.2) of Hiram Williams taking the oath of office as Clerk of the Superior court in 1870.

a. Scrapbook of newspaper clippings between 1894 and 1916; some indexed by subject; the names of the people involved vary but all deal with Decatur-DeKalb County history; a lot of A. M. Wier “Sarge Plunkett” columns. Newspaper clippings, invitations, and political handbills; 88 pages; re-bound in 1951.
b. Scrapbook of articles invitations and letters from 1911 to 1934; indexed; the names in the articles vary but all deal with the history of DeKalb County. Original material; newspaper clippings, typed letters, and engraved invitations; 88 pages; re-bound in 1951.


Yank: The Army Weekly

Assorted issues from the 1940s



(Various accession numbers)

This collection includes yearbooks from various primary, secondary, and undergraduate schools located in DeKalb County. Note: This is an active collection. Donations of yearbooks are encouraged for years not already in the collection.


Top of Page