July 30, 2019

VSU Archives Awarded Grant to Digitize Historical Land Documents

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VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections was awarded a grant from the Digital Library of Georgia to digitize historical deeds and plats (land maps) from primarily the South Georgia region. 

VSU was one of six cultural heritage institutions across the state to receive the Competitive Digitization service grant, which will involve the Digital Library of Georgia creating digital scans of the land records. Doing so will allow VSU to make the documents, which are owned by VSU Archives, available for viewing online. 

The documents run from the 1700s to 1899 and represent 17 Georgia counties, from Lowndes County up to the Atlanta area. 

“This is a relatively hidden collection that people don’t really know we have,” said Deborah Davis, director of VSU Archives and Special Collections. “The questions we have gotten on it in the past show people are interested in these records because of genealogy and historical land use reasons. We had support letters from historians pointing out how useful these would be to historians studying Georgia history. They fit in very well with our mission to collect in the South Georgia region, and making these available online will get them used.”

VSU Archives and Special Collections supports the university’s commitment to scholarly and creative work, enhances instructional effectiveness, encourages faculty scholarly pursuits, and supports research in selective areas of institutional strength focused on regional need by collecting, preserving, and providing access to records of enduring historical value documenting the history and development of VSU and the surrounding South Georgia region and in support of VSU curriculum.

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia's libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. 

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