State Executive Committee Meeting (circa 1968-1971) with Joe Sports seated second from left. Sports was Executive Secretary under Chairman James Gray and Governor Lester Maddox .
The Democratic Party of Georgia was the major political power in the state from the era of Reconstruction until the twenty-first century. For over one hundred years they were a predominantly conservative political organization dedicated to electing members to state and national offices. The Democratic Party of Georgia exercised almost complete control over the state legislature and constitutional offices and was the most powerful political influence in the creation of state policies and laws in the state during the twentieth century.
In 1975, the Democratic Party of Georgia weathered major organizational changes and convened its first ever Charter Convention, where they codified policies, outlined new goals, and drafted new rules for delegate selection. In the late 1970s, all county committees were charged with reorganizing according to the rules of the new state charter; other changes loosened the ties to state government and the role of the governor in the party. The Democratic Party was an organization with power dispersed throughout the state. Organizations at the local level like county, district, and regional committees interacted with the state party and these relationships are well-documented in the Democratic Party of Georgia Records. The State Democratic Executive Committee, the State Democratic Committee of Georgia, Standing Committees, Special Committees, Democratic County Committees, and Precinct Coordinators all had important roles in making the party function in power.
The Democratic Party of Georgia Records document party organization and activities in the state and consist of records accumulated by DPG officials, staff, and working committees. Included are administrative and financial records, convention materials, committee files, and photographs.
Series I. Administrative contains materials from different areas of the party’s organization- finance, county and district, committees and conventions, in addition to administrative correspondence and memos to and from the Chairman and Executive Directors that date from 1965 to 2006.
Series II. County and District Files contain materials related to county and district events and committees and dates from 1966 to 1995.
Series III. Finance includes general finance materials related to the organization and state and federal campaign disclosure reports that date from 1960 to 2003.
Series IV. Committees and Conventions is a combined series and include state party convention proceedings, national convention materials, and local and state committee records that date from 1962 to 1991.
Series V. Campaigns and Elections records date from 1995 to 2004 and are digital records only and contain campaign files that include budgets, strategy documents, mailings and advertisements, and voting statistics.
Series VI. Photographs and Ephemera contains the photographs of the Democratic Party of Georgia from 1970 to 2004 and document significant events, individuals, campaigns, and annual fundraisers.
Series VII. Audiovisual Materials contains over 500 individual items that date from 1976 to 2008 and include campaign advertisements, local news clips and programming, and AV recordings of significant events for the Democratic Party of Georgia.
Processing of the Democratic Party of Georgia Records was completed as part of the year-long Georgia Political Parties Detailed Processing Project funded by a generous grant of up to $58,777 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).