DeKalb History Center Mission & History

The DeKalb History Center collects, preserves, and shares the wide-ranging stories of the people and places of DeKalb County.

We envision a county connected, enriched, and energized by people who see themselves in the histories we share and who engage with the stories of all the people and places that surround them.

The DeKalb History Center maintains the following values:

  • We believe everybody’s story is worth collecting and telling.
  • We believe a comprehensive understanding of our past is supported by diverse perspectives and new evidence.
  • We believe in providing people with opportunities to confront the painful legacies of injustice.
  • We believe community collaboration helps us discover and preserve untold history.
  • We believe history can and should be used to move us toward a more just future.

DHC is a membership based non-profit; we rely on contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations who support our mission.

The DeKalb History Center (DHC) was initially established as the “DeKalb Historical Society” in 1947. After a Resolution in 1968 by the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, we moved our offices into the historic DeKalb County Courthouse and have been located here ever since. During the early 1990s, DHC spent over $1,600,000 renovating the Courthouse. We have a museum and archives on the main floor and welcome visitors and researchers.

The History Center also maintains three antebellum structures located on West Trinity Place in Decatur: the Benjamin Swanton House, the Biffle Cabin and the Barber Cabin.