Ancient Civilizations in our Backyard: Archaeology and the Great Mississippian Civilizations

Please join the Augusta Public Library as we welcome renowned anthropologist Adam King on Saturday, February 25th at 2:00 PM in the library auditorium for a talk on Mississippian Culture and the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Dr. King’s presentation will kick off the Michael C. Carlos Museum Traveling Exhibit from Atlanta, which runs from February 25th until March 14th.

“Adam King is a research associate professor in the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology and special projects archaeologist for the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program at the University of South Carolina. King has conducted research in the Southeast since 1987 and specializes in the Mississippian period and the political economies of chiefdoms. He is the author of Etowah: The Political History of  a Chiefdom Capitol.”

Archaeology in South Carolina: Exploring the Hidden Heritage of the Palmetto State.

A shell gorget (pendant) found at Etowah, Georgia,  date to the 13th century.


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Lost Friends: Searching for Loved Ones after Slavery

One of the many horrors inflicted on slaves during that era of American history was the tearing apart of families; mothers, fathers, and children sold away from one another never to be heard of again. Near the end of the Civil War “Information Wanted” advertisements began appearing in newspapers all over the United States, written by former slaves requesting information about their lost loved ones. Though many are just a few lines, sparsely written, the urgency with which they are written is heartbreaking. Many include the names of family members and relationships, plantations where they were last together, and the names of slave owners, making them an invaluable resource for those tracing their family history. Please explore the links below to learn more about the efforts being made to digitize these advertisements.

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Antique Book Exhibit

In honor of Black History Month, the Georgia Heritage Room is exhibiting a selection of antique books and magazines on loan from local author and historian Mr. Elvin Thompson. The exhibit will run through the end of March 2017, so please visit us on the third floor of the Augusta Public Library to see this remarkable collection.

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Freemen’s Bureau Records Project Complete Thanks to FamilySearch

In conjunction with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and other organizations, FamilySearch completed a project to index and publish online images of Freedmen’s Bureau records from the United States National Archives and Records Administration. These records are pivotal for African American research because they document freed slaves and others who struggled to redefine themselves after the Civil War. Nearly 19,000 online volunteers—mostly from the United States and Canada—finished indexing the nearly two million handwritten records in June 2016—just a year and a day after the initiative started. A copy of the database was presented to the newly completed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History Culture on December 6 of this year. The digitized records are searchable on and

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Georgia Room Book Talk with James Robert Hester

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2:30 pm

Augusta Public Library Auditorium

A Yankee Scholar in Coastal South Carolina: William Francis Allen’s Civil War Journals Book Talk with Robert Hester

The Civil War journals of a Northern abolitionist engaged in the Port Royal Experiment.

New Englander William Francis Allen (1830–1889) is mostly known today as the lead editor of the 1867 anthology Slave Songs of the United States, the earliest published collection of African American spirituals, and as a distinguished history professor at the University of Wisconsin. During the Civil War, he served from late 1863 through mid-1864 as a member of the “Gideonite band” of businessmen, missionaries, and teachers who migrated to the South Carolina Sea Islands as part of the Port Royal Experiment. After the war he served as assistant superintendent of schools in Charleston from April through July 1865. Allen kept journals during his assignments in South Carolina in which he recorded events and impressions of about several hundred people, especially ex-slaves, along with fellow Gideonites, Union soldiers and officials, and ex-Confederates.
Editor James Robert Hester has transcribed Allen’s journals and fully annotated them to create a significant documentary source of information on Civil War South Carolina. In addition to being a competent amateur musician, Allen was a Harvard-trained historian and philologist and brought his impressive skills to his writing. Later in his life he became an eminent professor of history at the University of Wisconsin.
James Robert Hester retired in 2005 from the U.S. Department of Energy Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina, where he started his career as an engineer in 1973. Hester has spent his retirement as a student, first enrolled at Augusta State University, where he earned a bachelor of arts in music in 2010, and currently at Augusta University, where he is majoring in history and specializing in antebellum black music studies. Hester became interested in William Allen’s writings in 2010 while writing a thesis on slave songs of Augusta.

Please join us for an afternoon with Robert Hester, who will discuss his book and the fascinating life of William Francis Allen.

Call the Georgia Heritage Room for details 706-826-1511

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Research Your Family History in GALILEO

Public libraries in Georgia offer several online resources through GALILEO for researchers interested in their ancestry. Since all Georgia citizens have access to GALILEO through their public library, every person in Georgia has these genealogy resources at his or her fingertips. Please join the Georgia Heritage Room staff in the 3rd Floor Computer Lab of the Augusta Public Library at 10:30 am on Tuesday, January 24th as we teach participants how to access the best databases in GALILEO for family history research, including Ancestry Library Edition, Digital Library of Georgia, and HeritageQuest Online. Space is limited, so please call 706-826-1511 to reserve a spot.

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The Genealogy of Your House

You love researching your own family history but have you ever thought of researching the history of your house? Using the same skill set as genealogy you can discover the lives of the people who lived in your house before you. Join us on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm in the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library 3rd Floor Computer Lab to learn how to use the tools that will let “your walls speak” from house historian and Legacy Family Tree webinar presenter Marian Pierre-Louis. Space is limited so call 706-826-1511 to register. The webinar is free and open to the public.publication1

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Patriots in the Family: Starting the DAR/SAR Membership Process

Expand your genealogical experience to the next level! Have you ever wanted to learn about Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution? Ever wondered if you have a Revolutionary patriot ancestor? Do you want to find out what proofs you need or want advice on how to proceed with your research? This is your big chance! Representatives from the College Hill Chapter of DAR will be here to present a short program and answer questions about researching your patriot ancestors. Join us on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm in the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library 3rd Floor Computer Lab. Space is limited. Call (706) 826-1511 to register.dar-and-sar-program-flyer

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Beyond Basics: Taking Family History to the Next Level


If you have encountered brick walls and dead ends in your family research then it may be time to learn some new tips and tricks. Join the Georgia Room’s Tina Rae Floyd as she demonstrates ways to mine your current documents for clues to new records. She will also demonstrate what resources the library has to help you expand your search capabilities. Call (706)826-1511 to register!

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Photography History and Preservation

Tuesday, October 25 @ 10:30 am
Photography History and Preservation: Views from the Augusta Museum of History
Third Floor Computer Lab-Headquarters Library
In honor of the Augusta Photography Festival which runs October 21-30, 2016 the Georgia Room will host a program on the history of photography, and the techniques one should use when preserving early photographs such as daguerreotypes, tintypes, and carte-de-visite. Ms. Lauren Virgo, Registrar of the Augusta Museum of History is our presenter, and will have examples on hand from the Museum’s collection. This event is free and open tothe public. Please call 706-826-1511 for

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