A lot of what gets written about on our blog in Special Collections is the result of a tangent someone follows. While re-foldering files from the Office of the President from the 1981-82 school year, I found a memo titled “Re: Panty Raids and Jock Raids.” I stopped immediately and showed Holly the memo, chuckling at the stern tone in which the Division of Student Affairs warned against participating in the raids. Trenae, another Graduate Assistant in Special Collections, was familiar with the term because of a Spongebob episode. Thinking my interest in the topic could turn into a blog post, I started doing some research.
In today’s society, most of our world is viewed through a screen or the lens of a smartphone. Technological advances are hindering our abilities to do things the “old-fashioned way.” Our attachment to technology is diminishing the sentimental value of memories. For instance, when going to live sporting event or a concert, instead of remembering the event and good feelings associated with it, we are merely remembering the point in time when we tried so hard to essentially remember the moment forever. We spend so much of our time wrapped up in our phones and trying to preserve special moments forever that we sometimes forget to just watch, just listen, and just experience. Instead of enjoying the moment we spend most of the time trying to capture the moment.
Personally, I think technology is crippling our brains ability to properly store and remember information, and recent research in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology backs me up. Most people today have this technological pretense that advanced telecommunications are the way of the future. Most things are done either online or with our phones. People no longer keep hard copies of things such as family photos and other memorabilia because said things can be accessed at the click of a mouse or the scroll of a finger.
Jessica McQuain is one of our new graduate assistants in Special Collections this year. She is a first year student in the MA in English program. Jessica also earned B.A.s in English and Spanish from Georgia College in 2016.
There’s a professor on campus who’s (in)famous for his knowledge and passion for Milledgeville history. Even without having taken a course with him, most folks at least recognize the name Dr. Bob. As the University Historian, Dr. Bob Wilson is a frequent flyer here in Special Collections. Recently, he came by to ask if we could peruse issues of The Colonnade from 1948 to 1952 for some research he’s doing on a prior student. While flipping carefully through yellowed pages of our college paper, I was flabbergasted by how many cigarette ads I found. Every issue had at least a half page ad for Chesterfield cigarettes, often touting Hollywood film stars as examples of the glamor of smoking. Even more than being glamorous, these ads promoted smoking as healthy!
When I started this research, the current Colonnade had a front page story on the dangers of using the e-cigarette JUUL. Often described as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, the JUUL still delivers nicotine and is popular for being discreet and for offering various flavored pods. The article even states that students “hit their pen in class.” Overall, e-cigarettes are presented as dangerous and addictive. The declining rates of smoking are considered a success, and the choice to voluntarily expose oneself to provenly harmful nicotine is presented as mysterious.¹ Continue reading “Jessies and JUULs: The Changing Perception of Tobacco Use on Campus”
Trenae Johnson is one of our graduate assistants in Special Collections this year. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art with a cognate in Psychology from the University of South Carolina and is now a first year masters student in the Art Therapy program at Georgia College.
As a new member of the team here in Special Collections, I am honored to say that the other graduate assistants and I have been working on a project that it set to document diversity throughout the university. The project started out as a part of the display for Georgia Archives Month. However, the project has been expanded beyond Georgia Archives Month and is now apart of an ongoing collection here in Special Collections. Nancy, the associate director of special collections says, “I think it is a learning experience for them [graduate assistants], and it also introduces them to campus folks they might not ever meet.” And I could not agree with her more! Continue reading “The Importance of Documenting Diversity”
The beginning of each school year always proves a bit hectic. It almost seems as though overnight Special Collections shifts from the slow drawl of summer, with researchers dropping by or calling in with requests once every couple days, to suddenly juggling three projects at once.
This year, Special Collections welcomed two new graduate assistants (in addition to me) and two new undergraduate Service Learning Opportunity students. In the past, Special Collections hasn’t always been this filled with staff, but this year we’re lucky to have a full house with all hands on deck. New graduate assistants this year are Art Therapy major, Trenae Johnson, and English major, Jessica McQuain. Our two new Service Learning Opportunity undergraduates are Business undecided, Reese Christian, and Laurie Gentry, who majors in Art and plans to pursue Art Therapy as well.
The first big project Trenae, Jessica, and I have begun to tackle is putting together the physical exhibit for Georgia Archives Month. In the past we’ve featured the NAVY Waves uniform for the 2016 theme, “Archives Big and Small: Showcasing Our Gems.” Last year, we focused on the library’s major innovations and renovations beginning with the school’s original opening in 1889, the loss of materials from the Main Building fire of 1924, all the way to the most recent addition in 2010. This year’s theme is called “Faces and Places: Documenting Diversity during Georgia Archives Month.” For the visual exhibit, we’ve decided to spotlight staff around campus, those that often go unrecognized. Through Front Page and other news media such as The Colonnade, students are often informed of their peers’ accomplishments and achievements, we’re exposed to faculty recognition, and we’re updated on clubs and athletics, social events, etc. Acknowledging student and faculty achievement is, of course, important. It’s our duty as a university to root for one another, and to document the marks we make, the imprints we leave. But what about custodial? What about landscaping and grounds? Food service? Parking and transportation? Facilities operations? There are so many other moving parts to the “well-oiled” machine that keeps Georgia College, or any university, operating, and it’s important to remember this not just during the month of October but always. Continue reading “New Year, New Projects, New Faces”
*Holly found this post of Brendan’s from last June(!!!) lingering in the drafts awaiting her approval. She apologizes for the long delay in posting it!
One of our collections here in Georgia College’s Special Collections is the various maps that have been collected over time. This collection is open to for use but rarely sees much interest from researchers. Maps are a great source of information for all studies. In this collection, there are maps for agricultural studies, transportation studies, Civil War battle studies, and even studies about Milledgeville dating back to the very beginning of the city. Maps put a visual image behind the words that relay in the story and can tell a lot about the subject.
Over the summer, I took it upon myself to update the finding aid for the maps collection.This collection peaked my interest not only because I have a degree in geography, but also because of the stories some of these maps tell. To my chagrin, this also meant reprocessing a collection that had seen some of its items relocated or replaced in the wrong order. That meant that I needed to review each map to ensure that it was back to its correct home in the collection. What I thought was going to be a chore turned into many rabbit holes as I found myself studying each map.
For example, the map below shows the 13 original states in 1784 just after the American Revolution and independence from Great Britain. Many of the states claimed much more territory than what they have today. The states in the South claimed land all the way to the Mississippi River, as did Connecticut.
This map shows the original layout of the United States and the beginning of territorial issues that lead to the formation of states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. This territory was the foundation for the country and the future idea of Manifest Destiny. The story of the beginning of the United States is brought to life in this particular map. Continue reading “Maps, Maps, Maps!”
August 9th, 2017 went down in Georgia College history with the formal gifting of Andalusia to the college from the foundation running the house. It makes this the fourth historic property listed in the National Register of Historic Places that the GCSU Foundation now owns. Others include The Old Governor’s Mansion and Atkinson Hall. The Milledgeville Historic district, which encompasses much of the college, received national register status in 1972. Since the gifting of the property, Andalusia has been closed for restoration. Matt Davis, the director of Historic Museums for Georgia College, and his staff have restored Andalusia to the mid-20th century style home in which Flannery O’Connor lived and wrote. They want visitors to not only get a better understanding of Flannery’s influences and farm life, but also feel like they are a part of that time period as well. The plans include much more than preserving and restoring the buildings. There is also discussion of additions, such as a visitor center and an education building close to the farm’s entrance.