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Special Collections

Special Collections
Location: 5th Floor
Phone: 404.730.1896alt
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Special Collections is a reference and research department featuring Georgia/Southern history and genealogy materials as well as the Margaret Mitchell Exhibit. Special Collections has six separate collections. They are the Georgia Collection, the Genealogy Collection, the Library Archives, the Rare Book Collection, the Margaret Mitchell Collection and the Mitchellana Collection. None of the books or other materials in the department may be checked out.

Georgia Collection: This collection includes books, journals, microfilmed newspapers, maps, ephemera and vertical files related to Georgia History, Atlanta History, Southern History and the Civil War. Atlanta’s City Directories and Criss-Cross directories are included in this collection. Also available is a unique hand typed index card file of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution from 1944 – July 1979.

Genealogy Collection: This collection includes books and microfilm relating to genealogical and family history research. The core of the collection addresses research on Georgia families. Collection holdings also include passenger lists, and genealogical resources relating to southern states, Europe, and the US in general. Also available are general guides and how-to resources for genealogists. In addition, the department provides free access to the Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest databases. We do not hold vital records such as birth and death certificates.

Library Archives: The archives holdings include paperwork from the beginnings of an Atlanta library. Holdings include papers from the Young Men’s Library Association (YMLA), 1867-1899; the Carnegie Library, 1899-1949; the Atlanta Public Library, 1949-1983; and the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System, 1983-present. The archives also holds minor collections including those classified by the following headings; Literature, Arts & Entertainment; Historical, Political, Military and Legal Documents; Education and Educational Institutions; Clubs & Associations; Religious Works; Atlanta Documents and Images; Large Format Images; and Framed Items.

Rare book collection: This collection includes books that were part of the YMLA, the Hattie Wilson High Collection, editions of Gone With The Wind and various other books generally relating but not limited to Georgia or Southern history that are deemed rare by Special Collections definition.

Margaret Mitchell Collection: this collection includes numerous items received from the Mitchell family via the terms of the will of Mr. John Marsh. This is a static collection and nothing may be removed or added to this collection (per the terms of the will). This collection includes the typewriter, the Pulitzer, ABA, and various other pieces of ephemera and books.

Margaret Mitchell Exhibit

Mitchelana Collection: This collection acts as a companion to the Margaret Mitchel Collection, these items include postcards, original cartoons, and non-Mitchell owned copies of GWTW, photographs and various other ephemera.

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           Collection Strengths:

  • Margaret Mitchell and Gone With the Wind Materials
  • Atlanta City and Suburban Directories dating to 1867
  • Census records for Georgia, 1820-1880, 1900-1930
  • Civil War
  • Atlanta History
  • Georgia History
  • Southern Genealogy
  • Native Americans

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Scope of Materials

The following are materials collected by the Special Collections Department:        

  • New, rare and reprinted books
  • Periodicals
  • Maps & atlases
  • Microforms
  • Directories, annual listings, yearbooks
  • City, County and other government documents and reports
  • Documents and ephemera relating to the history of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
  • Non-written records (including film and photographs)
  • Manuscript and archival materials
  • Electronic Resources
  • Three dimensional artifacts and objects

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The Special Collections Pathfinders are guides to the resources in our collection and offer suggestions to help you get started in your research project. Many of the guides also provide links to county, state, and federal resources, as well as, historical organizations, museums, public libraries and other institutions. Free copies of these guides are available in the department.

Pathfinders include:

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Georgia Newspapers on microfilm, primarily an historical collection from the Atlanta area such as The Atlanta Georgian, some other Civil War-era Georgia newspapers, and Atlanta-area neighborhood community papers and alternative ("underground") papers such as the Neighbor newspapers, Creative Loafing and The Great Speckled Bird.

Library Supported Online Resources

The genealogy and historical research resources linked below are provided to researchers courtesy of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.

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Reference and Research Services and How to Contact Us

The Library will spend no longer than one hour on any single mail, fax, electronic, or telephone request. These requests should generally be restricted to straightforward reference. Requests will be handled as soon as possible in the order in which they were received and depending on the condition of the material requested. If further research is necessary, please feel free to contact the Department.
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Please feel free to contact us by phone at 404.730.1896alt or by mail:

Special Collections
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library
One Margaret Mitchell Square
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

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           Other Fulton County Resources


Biographical Resources for Fulton County Commissioners

Chronological List of Members of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1880-1900
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1900-1931
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1932-1961
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1961-1991
Gallery of Commissioners by Terms Beginning 1992-Present

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Follow this link for documentation relating to the mergers that created the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.

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