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HIST 4990 The Gilded Age 1865-1917 (special collections): PRIMARY SOURCES: UGA Special Collections


There are three special collections at UGA: the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection.  For the purposes of this course and the paper you will write related to the Gilded Age time frame, the Hargrett Library and the Russell Library will have the most relevant resources.

The Hargrett Library collects materials that relate to Georgia or Georgians as well as other selected topics beyond Georgia. The Hargrett collections are organized by the formats of materials:

  • Manuscripts (unpublished materials like letters, diaries, reports, minutes, notes, photographs)
  • University Archives (all kinds of materials created by by people , departments, and organizations associated with the University of Georgia)
  • Rare Books (books, broadsides, maps, and more)
  • Georgia-related publications (published materials with some connection to Georgia

The Russell Library is chiefly an  archives of unpublished materials created by people and organizations in public life:

  • activists
  • elected and appointed officials 
  • diplomats 
  • political party organizations 
  • journalists,
  • civic and lobbying groups 
  • lawyers, judges, and court case records  

The Russell Library collects a wide array of formats within this collecting scheme.  The Russell Library does also maintain a collections of publications that have come into the library as part of archival collections. These publications are accessible through the Libraries Gil catalog. 

Searching for unpublished materials in Hargrett and Russell Library

To look for unpublished materials like letters, reports, diaries, photographs, and speeches, search the finding aids gateway for Hargrett and Russell. 

Tips for searching : 

  • brainstorm keywords to search that are related to your topic:
    • names of people who are involved
    • key dates 
    • organization or group names related to your topic
    • events related to your topic
  • remember that you can't string search terms together to get more focused  results, instead try searching for a key word across the finding aids and then search for other keywords within the finding aid page. 


How to request rare books and Georgia-related publications from