New Lecture Series Honors Voices of Augusta’s Past

Saving the Voices from Augusta’s Past, a lecture series honoring the digitization of rare Augusta oral histories begins July 9 and will continue into the fall.

The series is a collaborative effort between Augusta State University’s Reese Library, Paine College’s Collins-Callaway Library, and the Augusta Public Library. Each lecture features a foremost expert on Augusta history and will be held at one of the library locations. The lectures will highlight notable Augustans as captured on decades-old audiotapes and will examine issues raised in their personal narratives.

Most of the oral histories were originally captured on audiotape in the early 1970s. Time and technological change left the tapes unusable and the Augusta voices unheard. Digitizing the tapes not only ensures their long-term preservation, but makes them accessible for the first time in years.

Carol Waggoner-Angleton, special collections assistant at Reese Library, expects the lecture series will attract serious researchers to the oral history collections. She also hopes that the lectures will increase public awareness of the preservation challenges archivists and librarians face with new technology.

The project is a collaborative effort led by Waggoner-Angleton; Dottie Demarest, local history librarian at the Augusta Public Library; and Lynn Dennison, director of Collins Callaway Library. It is funded entirely by the Georgia Humanities Council’s From Our Past, In the Present, For the Future grant initiative. The grant supports public programs that explore the traditions, stories, and ideas that shape us—as a people, as communities, and as a society.

The first lecture is scheduled for Monday, July 9. Dr. Peggy Ruth Geren, professor at Augusta State University, will present Projects of Philanthropy in the Post-Civil War South: First Look at 7 p.m. in 170 University Hall. This event and all others in the series are free and open to the public. Information can be found online at

For additional information, call 706-667-4904 or email