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HIST 7900 Theory and Practice-special collections resources: Special Collections-Hargrett Library

special collections and related service point resources

Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library


The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library advances the research, instructional, and public service mission of the University of Georgia by collecting, preserving, and providing access to the published and unpublished works that document the evolving history and culture of Georgia and its peoples. The Hargrett Library documents the state's literary, cultural, social, and economic legacy; and it builds collections of distinction in other areas, including natural history, ecology and environmentalism, history of the book, performing arts, women’s history, journalism and print media, and University history.

University Archivist

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Steve Armour
Special Collections Libraries
University of Georgia
300 S. Hull St.
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-0667

Associate Director

Public Service Coordinator

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Mazie Bowen
300 South Hull Street, Athens, GA 30602

Strengths of the Hargrett Collections

A. Georgiana Collection

Printed materials about Georgia, by and about Georgians, or published by Georgia printers/publishers.

B. University Archives

The University of Georgia Archives preserve over two centuries of the University's history in the form of official records, images, plans, publications, and artifacts.

C. Civil War, Institution of Slavery, and Reconstruction in Georgia

A comprehensive collection of confederate imprints published by the Confederate States along with manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, photographs, and artifacts documenting Georgians during and after the Civil War.

D. Colonial Georgia, Revolutionary War, and New Republic

Official records of the Trustees, papers of the colonial governors, land grants, correspondence, maps, and accounting records document the development of the colony.

E. Ecology and Environmental Sciences

The papers of Eugene Odum and Frank Golley; institutional records of the Ecological Society of America and the Institute of Ecology; records of the Georgia Academy of Science and the Georgia Sierra Club; and the Savannah River Ecology Lab.

F. Natural History

A variety of formats including rare books, prints, original renderings, and manuscripts documenting the State’s natural history, including materials by Mark Catesby, William Curtis, Pierre Joseph Redoute, John Abbot, and John Eaton LeConte.

G. Private Press and Fine Printing

Built upon the formidable Elmore H. Mundell collection from over 1,200 different private printers, the private press and fine printing collection includes artists' books, specimens of contemporary fine printing, and a selection of books on papermaking and typesetting.

H. Georgia Music Culture

Built upon the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Collection, the music collections document the evolution and importance of Georgia’s music industry and legacy.

I. Historic Maps

While not limited to a single geographic subject, the collection heavily emphasizes Georgia as colony and state, along with its surrounding region. The collection dates from the 16th century through the early 20th century.

J. British and American Literature

Donald Windham, Calder Willingham, Corra Harris, and Lillian Smith are chief among the authors represented by collections of manuscript materials and rare editions of their works. Other authors for whom the Hargrett Library has author collections include James Agee, Conrad Aiken, Stephen Vincent Benet, Michael Bishop, Truman Capote, James Dickey, Erskine Caldwell, John Fowles, Julian Green, Kate Greenaway, Carson McCullers, Don Marquis, Flannery O'Connor, Katherine Ann Porter, Robert Louis Stevenson, James Styron, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, and Stuart Woods.

Guide to Using Our Collections

The Hargrett Library and the Russell Library have a shared database for searching the finding aids for their collections that enables broad searching across collections. This interface also allows patrons to request materials.

Hargrett and Russell Libraries Finding Aids

The Hargrett Library’s Rare Books and its Georgiana collections (published materials related to Georgia) and the Russell Library’s book collection are accessible through the GIL Catalog.

Here is a guide to requesting materials: 

For general assistance with requesting materials patrons can contact or visit the Special Collections Reference Desk. This service point is located on the third floor of the Special Collections Building. The telephone number is 706-542-7123 and the email address is 

For specific questions related to collection holdings, requesting reproductions, or seeking permission to publish, patrons should contact the Hargrett reference email account:

Centers for Research and Instruction

The Hargrett Library supports six centers of research and instruction focused on natural history; water history, law, and policy; history of women’s rights; performing arts; print media and journalism; and Georgia culture and folkways. The Centers support building collections, research, public programming and outreach, instruction, K-12 education, and exhibition in their areas of distinction.

A. James W. Woodruff, Sr. Center for Natural History in Georgia

The Center encompasses books, maps, manuscripts, and other significant materials related to the natural history of the state.

B. Stephen Elliot Draper Center and Archives for the Waters of Georgia in History, Law, and Policy

The Center acquires, preserves, and makes accessible historic collections of materials of the rivers, aquifers, and wetlands of the State of Georgia. The Center houses the Stephen Elliot Draper Collections in British and American Waterways. The archives contain significant collections of Georgia scholars, authors, individuals, organizations, institutions, and initiatives in the public and private sectors whose work has been instrumental in the development of water policy in Georgia.

C. Lucy Hargrett Draper Center and Archives for the Study of the Rights of Women in History and Law

The purpose of the Center is to acquire, preserve, and provide access for scholarly research to historic materials related to rights of women. The collection is comprised of primary and secondary materials in a variety of formats with an emphasis on documenting women's rights, especially the United States and British Women’s Suffrage Movements (1840-1920).

D. Freddy Wittop Center for the Study of Performing Arts

Established to honor the work and lifetime achievements of internationally acclaimed costume designer, Freddy Wittop (1911-2001), the Center is particularly strong in set and costume design with the Paris Music Hall and Wittop collections, supplemented by collections of 19th-century theatrical cartes de visite, cabinet photographs, theatrical postcards, playbills, souvenir albums, European toy theaters, actors' scrapbooks, British music hall programs, and engravings and original costume and set renderings.

E. George Horace Lorimer Center for Print Media

Named in honor of George Horace Lorimer (1868-1937), who served as editor of The Saturday Evening Post, the Center focuses on acquiring the papers of writers, editors, and cartoonists who contributed to newspapers or magazines.

F. Georgia Cultures and Folkways

Supported by the Alvermann Georgia Cultures and Folkways Endowment the Center documents the evolving culture and folkways of the peoples of Georgia with special emphasis on underrepresented groups and rural communities.