Historical city directories from across Georgia are now freely accessible online

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October 4, 2023

Contact: Deborah Hakes, dhakes@georgialibaries.org

Macon 1948

ATLANTA…Georgia Public Library Service has completed a two year-long project to digitize 214 city directories, which document 17 different Georgia communities across nearly 100 years. The directories, contributed by 12 public library systems, are now full-text searchable and freely available in the Digital Library of Georgia.

“Georgia Public Library Service is pleased to support digitizing primary source materials that document community history and culture like these city directories,” said Josh Kitchens, director of Archival Services and Digital Initiatives. “Digitization is important as it enables materials to be more widely accessible for everyone who wants to learn more about their family or community.”

City directories will prove invaluable sources of genealogical, cultural, and historical information for communities all over Georgia. In addition to basic location information, city directories frequently provide local governmental and civic information, street maps, church and cemetery information, and historical details about the city and surrounding areas. Information about individuals typically includes the resident’s name, title or salutation, home address, marital status and spouse’s name, race, occupation, and, if applicable, information about business ownership. When used in tandem with digitized Sanborn maps, city directories can mimic the experience of a stroll down Main Street to see the names of businesses and neighbors.

This digitization project is a partnership between Georgia Public Library Service, the Digital Library of Georgia, and public library systems across the state. The 17 communities included in this project are Moultrie, Swainsboro, Statesboro, Camilla, Brunswick, Austell, Mableton, Marietta, Acworth, Smyrna, Macon, Covington, Columbus, Bainbridge, Americus, Cordele, and Albany. Additional city directories digitized previously through GPLS include Albany (1922-1949), Athens (1889-1958), Atlanta (1867-1922), Columbus (1859-1912), Dalton (1940-1963), Griffin (1940-1963), and Macon (1860-1899).

Columbus, GA 1928

“We hope the digitization of these city directories encourages others to share their local and family histories, so that it can be celebrated for years to come,” said Catherine Vanstone, assistant director for management information systems at Southwest Georgia Regional Library.

Georgia Public Library Service’s Archival Services and Digital Initiatives has facilitated the addition of over 700,000 unique items to the Digital Library of Georgia allowing free, online access to primary sources on local history. This project is supported with federal Library Services and Technology Act funds administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through GPLS.


Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) empowers libraries to improve the lives of all Georgians by encouraging reading, literacy, and education through the continuing support and improvement of public libraries. Our digitization initiative, Archival Services and Digital Initiatives, encourages public libraries and related institutions across Georgia to participate in The Digital Library of Georgia, which is an initiative of GALILEO. www.georgialibraries.org

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ 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. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project.