The University of Georgia Press Launches the Georgia Open History Library

Open Digital History Resource Covers State’s Founding from Colony to Early Statehood

The University of Georgia Press is pleased to announce the launch of the Georgia Open History Library on Oct. 15, 2021. The Georgia Open History Library (GOHL) is an open-access library of nearly fifty digital editions of single-authored scholarly titles and two multivolume series, as well as primary documents going back to the founding of Georgia as a colony up to statehood and beyond.

GOHL includes studies of Adams and Jefferson; the American Revolution in Georgia; the Creek Nation; the papers of Revolutionary War general Lachlan McIntosh and the colony’s visionary founder James Edward Oglethorpe; and records of the German-speaking Protestant Salzburger settlement. The titles also focus on how Georgia navigated its relationship with Indigenous peoples, other colonies, international diplomacy, as well as its place in a new nation.

Selected by a statewide advisory board of Georgia historians, the volumes in the GOHL constitute the most fulsome portrait of early Georgia and its inhabitants—European, Indigenous, and diasporic African—available from primary sources. Of particular importance are the colonial records of the state of Georgia and what are widely regarded as the essential supplements to those records: the journals and/or letters of the Earl of Egmont, Peter Gordon, and Henry Newton, as well as the two publications of General James Edward Oglethorpe’s own writings. The Press commissioned new forewords written by contemporary historians that add important current scholarly context to each volume.

“We are thrilled to reintroduce the titles in the Georgia Open History Library to the world via these enhanced digital editions,” said UGA Press Director Lisa Bayer. “As the United States approaches its 250th anniversary in 2026, these online resources about the thirteenth colony will help students, teachers, and all citizens to better understand the diversity and complexity of our early national history.”

The titles will be available and discoverable as open digital editions at the following sites:

UGA Press’s Manifold platform

Affordable Learning Georgia

Digital Library of Georgia / Digital Public Library of America Exchange and Open Bookshelf

EBSCO ebooks Open Access Monograph Collection

Project MUSE

Books at JSTOR

HathiTrust

Individual titles will also be available to purchase as print paperback and Kindle editions.

The Press has partnered on the GOHL with a diverse group of statewide non-profit organizations, including the UGA Libraries, Georgia Humanities, the New Georgia Encyclopedia, the Georgia Historical Society, the Digital Library of Georgia, the Willson Center for Arts and Humanities at UGA and the Atlanta History Center. Plans for public programming include a Spring 2022 traveling exhibit and demo for colleges, universities and public and research libraries to introduce students, teachers, scholars, and citizens to these new resources.

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Launch Event:

The Power of Digital Libraries and the Contest over Historical Narrative

On October 12 at 6 pm, the UGA Press, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, and the UGA History Department will host a virtual launch event for the Georgia Open History Library with Catherine Kerrison, Professor Emerita of History at Villanova University. Kerrison will address the broad historical and intellectual significance of curated open digital resources, which allow both scholars and an informed public to challenge the narratives of those who would erase the complexity of our early national history.

This talk is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. Registration link here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mr-7hMsWS8qad_ouHcPjWQ

Exhibition:

From Colony to Statehood: The Georgia Open History Library

Currently on display in the Hargrett Gallery of the UGA Special Collections Building until December 10, 2021, this exhibit showcases a selection of original manuscripts and rare books held by the Hargrett Library documented in the newly digitized volumes in the Georgia History Library. Touch screens in the gallery provide access to digitized versions of these resources hosted in the Digital Library of Georgia.

This display was made possible with support from the Humanities Open Book Grant, a program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The exhibition is on view daily at the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries from 8:00 am-5:00 pm. More information on the exhibit here: https://www.libs.uga.edu/events/colony-statehood-georgia-open-history-library

The Georgia Open History Library has been made possible in part by a Humanities Open Book grant, a program of the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this collection, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

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