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Archival Research: Political Parties at the Richard B. Russell Library: Researching Political Parties

A guide for researching political parties at the Richard B. Russell Library.

Other Georgia Politics Sources

The New Georgia Encyclopedia provides short articles about many topics related to Georgia politics and history.

Georgia's Political Heritage Program at the University of West Georgia collects manuscripts and oral histories about Geogria politics.

The Georgia Government Document Project at Georgia State University contains manuscripts and oral histories with important political and activist figures from across the state.

Selected Bibliography

Hills, Tommy. Red State Rising: Triumph of the Republican Party in Georgia. Macon, GA: Stroud & Hall Publishers, 2009.


Appleton, Andrew and Daniel S. Ward, Ed. State Party Profiles: A 50-State Guide to Development, Organization, and Resources. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1997.


Feldman, Glenn, Ed. Painting Dixie Red: When, Where, Why, and How the South Became Republican. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2011.

Lassiter, Matthew and Joseph Crespino, Ed. The Myth of Southern Exceptionalism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Paul, Karen Dawley, Glenn Gray, and L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin. An American Political Archives Reader. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009.

Georgia Counties

There are numerous records of county organizations in both the Republican and Democratic party records. Materials related to Georgia counties contain information about demographics, organizational structure, grassroots efforts to engage communities, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of political parties in specific places.

Searching for county names in the records can be helpful in finding materials that will aid in comparing eras and trends in state politics.

Keyword Searches

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Keyword Search Tips and Tricks

Brainstorm terms related to  your topic

  • Try terms that are specific and general (example: Athens, Georgia, Fulton)
  • Explore the variety of descriptive terms that different groups used to describe the same people, events, places, and ideas (example: activists vs. agitators, protesters vs. rabble, affirmative action) 
  • Explore the evolution of meaning of terms over time.  Words that mean something to us today may have different meanings earlier in time or at specific moments in time.
  • Think like a file clerk. sometimes collections are organized by subjects, but often they are organized around dates, alphabetical listings of names, or by the group or individual that produced the records.

Never Admit Defeat!

  • If you try all of the tricks described above and still don't find what you are looking for, consider browsing the finding aids for materials donated by  people who are likely to be involved  in your topic. 
  • Never be aftaid to ask an archivist for help; that's why we're here. We work for you!

Researching Help

For general help with searching and browsing the collections located in special collections, you have several options: 

  • Browse the Special Collections Requesting Help Guide online
  • Watch a demo of the process here
  • Visit the special collections reference desk located on the 3rd floor of the Special Collections Building. Hours are 8-5 Monday-Friday.

Glossary of Terms

Archives lingo made easy...

Puzzled by other words?
Visit the Society of American Archivists Glossary of Terms site