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Desegregation at UGA: A Guide to Resources in UGA Special Collections: Home

Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes

Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes arrive at the University of Georgia on their first day of classes, January 9, 1961 (Atlanta Journal Constitution).

Desegregation of the University of Georgia

Until 1961, the University of Georgia--like all Georgia state institutions of higher education--was segregated by both legal and social forces. On January 6, 1961, history was made when Judge William Bootle issued a court ruling to UGA that ordered the immediate admission of two African American teenagers, Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes, and thrust the University into the national spotlight as it navigated controversy, violence, and a path toward a more inclusive future. The desegregation of UGA was not only a major milestone for the University of Georgia, it was a landmark event in the history of Georgia and the civil rights era. Within a year, Georgia Tech and Georgia State College (now University), would admit their first African American students.

This subject guide lists hyperlinks and overview information on a wide variety of sources that are available in the Special Collections Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia, and other relevant repositories beyond UGA. Materials include archives, manuscripts, digitized content, photographs, oral histories, and publications. If you need assistance with your research, please reach out to a librarian or archivist using the contact information on the right side of the page.

Note on terminology: Many sources use the terms "desegregation" and "integration" interchangeably and both terms can be effective keywords for searching library catalogs and databases on this topic. This subject guide uses the term "desegregation" because it best describes the legal milestone that took place with Hunter and Holmes' enrollment at UGA in January 1961.

About UGA Special Collections

The mission of the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries is to acquire, organize, preserve, and provide access to unique and rare materials related to the history and culture of Georgia. The Richard B. Russell Jr. Special Collections Libraries Building houses the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, including University Archives, the Richard B. Russell Jr. Library for Political Research and Studies, and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection.

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Compiled by Renna Tuten and Emily Olivier, May 2012. Revised by Steve Armour, August 2020.