The Center for Public History is proud to partner with the Georgia Humanities Council on several projects this year. One of our graduate research assistants, Val Pratt, and several undergraduate assistants are currently working with the GHC and First Lady Sandra Deal to produce a publication on the history of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. The project team’s research includes spending significant time at the Mansion documenting the jobs of the home’s Hostess docents, interviewing individuals who have lived and worked in the Mansion, and researching the furnishings and other works of decorative arts at the mansion. Notable interviews have included Kitty Farnham, who served as the first curator at the Mansion, former governor Zell Miller and his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, whose family was the first to live in the mansion for an entire term.
In addition to working on the Governor’s Mansion Project, Val also works with the Humanities Council to coordinate interns for the New Georgia Encyclopedia and will also assist with the production of an exhibition on hometown sports in conjuncion with the Smithsonian’s Museum on Mainstreet Program.
Graduate research assistant Samantha Vyrostek is working with the Georgia Humanities Council and UWG faculty member Dr. Colleen Vasconcellos to organize Georgia’s state competition for National History Day. The National History Day (NHD) is an annual, nationwide contest where middle and high school students compete at school, regional, and state level for a chance to demonstrate their historical knowledge at the national competition held at the University of Maryland at College Park in June. There are a variety of methods available for students to present their work at the competition: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a website, and all but the paper can be done either alone or with a group of 2-5 students.
The Center for Public History is also continuing work with the Georgia Humanities Council on the Georgia tour of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, which is an initiative of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Mainstreet program. Dr. Ann McCleary serves as the state scholar for the project and student staff members at the Center have been instrumental in coordinating the tour and helping with the production of a companion catalog and website. The exhibit opened in April 2012 in Calhoun, Georgia, and has been travelling throughout Georgia since. This year, graduate research assistants will be travelling with Dr. Ann McCleary to exhibit sites to offer assistance and recommendations to host communities The official website for New Harmonies can be accessed HERE.