The Dog Days of Summer are ending but that is not too noticeable in my part of Georgia, where it’s still hot and muggy, which often leads to wet!
Time to share some good Tips I have collected over the summer. Some pertain to Georgia, and some to other parts of the South, so count on updates to my prior series, “photographers working in the south.” Of course, there is always the assortment of “miscellaneous” information I will share that I hope you find either interesting, or just plain fun.
Georgia: Two collections of films and slides now in the collection of the Digital Library of Georgia doument Georgia’s growing Catholic community, 1938-1979. These materails were collected by and /or photographed by Marist School educators Reverend Michael Kerwick, SM (1912-1990), and Reverend Vincent Brennan, SM (1912-1993). In the mid-20th century, Atlanta had 30,000 Catholics, and by century’s end there were close to 300,000. These images document the history of the Marist Schools, from the downtown Atlanta campus ( on Ivy Street, called Marist College) to it’s current Brookhaven home in DeKalb County (known as Marist School, on Ashford-Dunwoody Road). The collection also documents the parts of downtown Atlanta lost through development in the 1950s and early 1960s, which was a primary reason for Marist School’s relocation. See both the digitized films, and the slides for documentation of commencements, athletics, formal events, and visits to Marist parishes throughout Georgia, including the Golden Isles.
The Digital Image Catalog of the City of Savannah Municipal Archives includes only a portion of their archival holdings, but there is a lot to be found here. There are collections of Savannah stereographs, glass plate negatives, moving images, and city of Savannah departmental photos, including those related to cemeteries and lot care, among the many collections of digitized materials.
It’s always fun to do a search for “Georgia” on a visual materials site. I recently did this on the Curt Teich Postcard Archives Digital Collection, part of the Newberry Library, which is believed to be the country’s largest public collection of postcards. I had the best luck using the term “Georgia,” within an “Image with description” search. There is no known copyright for Curt Teich postcards printed before 1964, unless there is a photographer’s copyright on it, or it depicts a trademarked image. This collection of postcards is a part of the CARLI Digital Collections, created by, and contributed by Illinois member libraries, very much like our DLG, Digital Library of Georgia. Click on “Curt Teich… (Newberry Library)” in the top bar for more information on the entire collection.
Texas – The Army’s Camp Bowie, in the summer of 1917, was one of America’s response to our declaration of war against Germany in World War I. It was selected for a National Guard mobilization camp, and it was Camp Quick, put up almost overnight in Ft. Worth, Texas. This was Ft. Worth a century ago, which was quite different than it is today. An article that appeared on The Hometown Handlebar website, with many photos, was reprinted as “Turning Sons into Sammies,” by the Doughboy Foundation.
Tennessee – What exactly was the TVA — the Tennessee Valley Authority? One accomplishment of TVA is that by 1944, over 85,000 farmsteads in the valley had electricity, when only a decade prior to the formation of TVA, only one in ten farms in Mississippi, one in 36 farms in Georgia, and only one in 25 farms in Tennessee and Alabama had it, so it was a huge change for the area. Other changes to the area resulted which were both good and bad. An article called, “Working for the TVA,” which includes films and still images from the National Archives, is very informative, particularly if your family was impacted by this huge project.
There are also Construction Progress Negatives located in the Records of the Tennessee Valley Authority at the National Archives, Atlanta. This is a photographic history of every Tennessee Valley Authority construction project between 1933 and 1987, covering Tennessee, but also Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Missisppi,and North Carolina. Contact the National Archives Atlanta (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) for current hours, which have changed.
The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a beautiful new state-of-the-art home in Nashville, on the northeast corner of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park (1001 Rep. John Lewis Way N.), and has a revised website. On the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) you will find thousands of photographs, postcards, and other visual materials. Take a look at a collection of approximately 10,000 glass plate negatives (more than 3,000 now scanned) from one of Nashville’s prominent photography studios, the Calvert Brothers Studio.
This is a good segue to additions related to my past posts on Photographers Working in the South
P.H. Polk captured life on the Tuskegee University (then Institute) campus for over forty years when he was their official photographer. The Polk family donated more than 3,800 photographs to Tuskegee University in 2018. The images in the P. H. Polk Family Collection include portraits of faculty, students, campus buildings, homecoming parades, athletic events, and other photos depicting life on campus and in the surrounding Macon County community. You can see 100 of the images in the collection in an article in JSTOR on the P. H. Polk Family Collection.
A seldom mentioned fact about P.H. Polk is that he worked briefly in Atlanta, Georgia, about 1938, just before returning to and remaining at Tuskegee. There is a Prentice Herman Polk photograph collection at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American History, in Atlanta, which is focused primarily on his photographs of George Washington Carver, but includes images of many other well-known personalities, and various events.
I read about an exhibit of photographs of black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives that came online in June, in the Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin. Called “Bridging Art & Farming: Celebrating Black Family Farmers, Landowners, and Cooperatives,” it is a part of the Capital Campaign of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, and people depicted in the photos represent their members. The ca. 1974-2003 photographs from their archives were taken in Alabama and other states. Photographers in the online exhibit include the 1974 images by Pat Goudvis, the 2003 images by Larry Herman, and the 1981 images by Reesa Tansey.
New photographic images have been added to the Library of Congress’s Carol M. Highsmith Archive collection. Last year, among the southern states she visited were Arkansas, Louisiana (see one at the top, above), Missouri, and Oklahoma. Highsmith has donated her work to the Library of Congress since 1992. Read about the newly added collection here.
Miscellaneous – The National Archives has over 140 million pages of digitized historical records and more than 27 million descriptions of the records. They now have a guide on Using the National Archives, which tells you how to Search, and includes Refining a Search, Searching Within a Record Group, Series or File Unit, Using the Advanced Search, and more. You can even narrow down your search to just images (dititized photographic records), or videos (digitized motion picure records). There are also some “How To” videos there, to help you.
A photo-historian friend, David Haynes, who researches and writes on Texas photographers, sent me an interesting, funny, blurb related to an unnamed Georgia photographer, which appeared in a Texas newspaper (Austin Weekly Statesman, March 15, 1877, p.2 c6). A Texas photographer, Harvey R. Marks, who before Texas was in Maryland and Alabama, referred to as “Major Marks,” hired an “intelligent gentleman from Georgia, as his assistant.” This assistant turned out to be not that intelligent! In Marks’s studio he took “4tografs” of pretty girls, and when he made a portrait of a man from Wyandotte, he noted that the man was from “Y& .” (that’s a Y and a dot…. his abbreviations made some sense). The article ends with the author of the blurb stating that the assistant had “gone back to Georgia to summer in the sunlight and roast goobers.” Well, I am a Georgian, and I’m not sure about roasted, but I love good boiled peanuts!
In closing, if summertime means sitting on the porch to you, read and enjoy the article, “Porch Memories,” by Frederica Soletta, in The Public Domain Review. I hope what remains of your post-dog-days summer is a good one, and that you are able to accomplish all you intended to do when it began!
With thanks to the Digital Library of Georgia, the City of Savannah Municipal Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Getty Open Content Program, David Haynes, the Doughboy Foundation, the Public Domain Review, and the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Market Bulletin.
© E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including her photographs, without written permission from this blog’s author, is prohibited. With permission, excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.